Anthony Campbell was formally sworn in as the chief of police in New Haven on Tuesday, after months of serving as acting and interim chief.
"I stand before you today as a man who is blessed and truly humbled be trusted with the title and the responsibility of Chief of Police," said Campbell.
Born and raised in Harlem, Campbell first came to New Haven to attend Yale University. He had been considering becoming a priest, but in spring of 1997 he charted a different course. He said he was inspired by the words he saw on the side of city bus in an advertisement for New Haven police recruits.
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"'Police others as you would have others police you'," Campbell recalled during the ceremony at city hall. He said he has kept that mantra through the years.
Campbell has been acting as chief since September, when former Police Chief Dean Esserman stepped down. Mayor Toni Harp selected Campbell to become the permanent New Haven Chief of Police in May.
Since Esserman’s departure, Campbell said he has focused on improving the morale of the men and women in the New Haven Police Department.
There was much support for Campbell to lead this department from Mayor Toni Harp who appointed him and from the New Haven Board of Alders.
"You're a combination of preparedness, compassion, responsiveness, work ethic and level of respect is unmatched," said Alphonse Paolillo, Jr., a member of the Board of Alders.
Campbell said he is focused now on expanding community policing, tackling the opioid epidemic, and later this year, supplying body-worn cameras for all of his nearly five hundred officers.
"Your safety is my highest priority. I hear you and I see you and what you say and how you feel matters to me," said Campbell.
Campbell said the Tuesday's ceremony was the second most incredible day of his life, topped only by what happened on the same day eighteen years ago, which was the day he married his wife, Stephanie.