Gov.-Elect Lamont Nominates James Rovella as Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection

Rovella selects Regina Rush-Kittle as Deputy Commissioner for Emergency Management; Stavros Mellekas as State Police Colonel 

New Haven, CT – Governor-elect Ned Lamont today announced that he has nominated James Rovella as Commissioner of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). In addition, Rovella has selected Regina Rush-Kittle as Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Management and Stavros Mellekas as State Police Colonel.

“James, Regina, and Stavros are experienced law enforcement officers, having dedicated their lives to keeping our streets and communities safe in Connecticut,” said Lamont. “I am proud to welcome these three dedicated public servants to my administration’s leadership team. Together, we are deeply committed to making sure our state remains a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

“I thank Governor-elect Lamont for the trust he has placed in me to lead the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection,” said Rovella. “My decades in public safety have been guided by a commitment to building trust between law enforcement personnel and the local communities in which they serve. That priority will remain a focus as I work to make this state a safer home for all of our residents.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to return to public service in Connecticut,” said Rush-Kittle. “I enjoyed my time at DESPP working with the men and women who help keep this state safe, and I appreciate the opportunity to begin this next chapter of my career. Working together, we can ensure that Connecticut’s residents are safe and the criminal justice community and advocacy organizations alike are part of the solution.”

“Our State Troopers risk their lives every day to protect our communities, and I am eager to begin this new role advocating on their behalf,” said Mellekas. “Having a number of different assignments within the State Police will allow me to better support my colleagues and work with the administration to make Connecticut a safe place to live and work.”

James Rovella has devoted his career to public safety, starting as a patrol officer, then detective, with the Hartford Police Department. Rovella then served 12 years for the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, where he eventually became Chief Inspector and oversaw all Medicaid fraud, financial, and statewide criminal cases for the state's chief law enforcement officer. In 2012, Rovella returned to Hartford to become its Chief of Police. Rovella was recognized by President Obama and the White House for strengthening community relations in Hartford.

Regina Rush-Kittle has more than three decades in law enforcement and the military, including 28 years with the Connecticut State Police. Prior to her time with the State Police, Rush-Kittle served for two years with the Middletown Police Department and two years with the Connecticut Department of Correction. Rush-Kittle also served with distinction for thirty years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and U.S. Army Reserves. She is a recipient of the Bronze Star.

Stavros Mellekas has served for nearly 25 years with the Connecticut State Police, starting as a patrol trooper and rising through the ranks to eventually become a Lieutenant Colonel. Mellekas currently oversees field operations for all three state districts, each of the three Major Crime squads, and the Bureau of Special Investigations. He has been awarded several citations for outstanding police work and meritorious service.

Rovella will begin serving as the Commissioner-designate when the Governor-elect is inaugurated on January 9. His nomination will be sent to the General Assembly for its advice and consent.

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Contact: Zach Cohen

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