|Hale choice for Ansonia chief
draws mixed views
By AMANDA CUDA firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday, July 05, 2000
ANSONIA - Concerns about the likely appointment of Sgt. Kevin Hale as the city's chief of police have prompted one resident to write a letter of protest to the Board of Aldermen.
But Mayor Jim Della Volpe defended his selection, calling Hale the right choice.
On Monday, Behrle Drive resident Leo Roszkowski sent letters to all of the members of the Board of Aldermen, asking them not to approve Hale's appointment as chief. The board meets at 8 p.m. Thursday to discuss the appointment.
Roszkowski, who is vice-chairman of the Republican Town Committee, said he wrote the letter not in that capacity but as a concerned resident.
In the letter, he expresses concern that Hale doesn't have as much experience as some of the other applicants. Hale, who was not available for comment Monday, joined the department in 1990.
Other applicants included Lt. Michael Abbels, who has more than 20 years of experience in the Ansonia department, and Lt. Richard Brozek, a commanding officer with the Statewide Crime Control Task Force in Meriden, who also has more than 20 years in law enforcement.
"It really bothered me," Roszkowski said. "And I wanted to let people know it was the wrong thing to do."
He said police chief is a powerful position and affects everyone in Ansonia. In the letter, he stresses the importance of selecting the strongest candidate possible.
"Kevin Hale may be a 'good' police chief," Roszkowski said in the letter. "Ansonia does not need a 'good' police chief. Ansonia needs the 'best' police chief that money can buy."
But Della Volpe said that's exactly what the city is getting. "I have no doubt that Kevin Hale is the best candidate," he said.
Hale's brother, former Democratic state Sen. Gary Hale, was an adviser to Della Volpe during his campaign, but Della Volpe said that relationship had no impact on his selection.
Board of Aldermen President Peter Danielczuk also defended Hale, saying he has the right qualifications for the job, including strong people skills.
"I believe Mr. Hale will be an outstanding chief," Danielczuk said. "He gets along with all ages. Everybody I speak to has very high regard for him."
But others appreciate Roszkowski's gesture, including Brozek, who said he felt the decision was unfair.
"I'm glad I have support," Brozek said. "It's not sour grapes on my part. The discrepancy between experience is vast."
Roszkowski said he's not sure if he will take further action if Hale is appointed. "Unless there's something really illegal and unethical that happens, I'm not sure what I can do."
Amanda Cuda, who covers Ansonia, can be reached at 736-5440.