Kudos to Fox 61 (WTIC-TV) for its recent profile of Aetna Ambulance, which began in 1945 in response to an ambulance shortage during the 1944 Circus Fire. The company, headquartered off Van Block Street, in the Sheldon/Charter Oak neighborhood, also made history as the city’s first African American-owned ambulance service. Here’s the Fox 61 video:
Tomorrow is the anniversary of the 1944 Hartford circus fire. If you want to learn about it, there’s no better place to start than the audio documentary aired a few years ago by WWUH-FM, radio station of the University of Hartford. The station will re-air the program the program tomorrow at 12:30, the approximate time the fire started. You can listen online or at 91.3 on the FM dial. There’s also an event page on Facebook.
Here’s our page on the fire.
In light of David Rosado becoming Hartford’s new police chief, it seemed appropriate to track down and publish a list of previous chiefs. It wasn’t as easy as expected; the list below comes mostly from from an archived page of the Police Department’s old website.
As for Rosado, he’s new to the Department but hardly new to Hartford. He grew up in the old Charter Oak Terrace housing projects and graduated from Bulkeley High School, returning there last week for a swearing-in ceremony meant to send a message to city kids. “Bulkeley means something to me; that’s where I grew up,” Rosado told the Hartford Courant. “There’s significance to that; it sends a message to kids there that ‘You too can accomplish something if you set your mind to it.'”
Here’s video of the ceremony by NBC Connecticut (WVIT-TV).
After graduating from the University of Connecticut, where he also obtained a law degree, Rosado rose through the ranks of the Connecticut State Police, including stints leading Troop H in Hartford, Troop W in Windsor Locks, and the internal affairs unit. He was a a lieutenant colonel, with more than two decades of service, when he left the state police to take the Hartford post.
In a January 23 news release from City Hall, City Councilman Thomas “TJ” Clarke II referred to Rosado as the city’s first Latino police chief.
This list dates back to 1901, though the Police Department was formally created in 1860. Anyone with material on the Department’s history is welcome to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 370202, West Hartford, CT 06137-0208.
Hartford police chiefs
David Rosado: 2018-
James C. Rovella: 2012-2018
Daryl K. Roberts: 2006-2011
Patrick J. Harnett: 2004-2006
Mark R. Pawlina: 2003-2004 (acting chief)
Bruce Preston Marquis: 2000-2003
Joseph J. Croughwell: 1994-2000
Jesse Campbell: 1993-1994
Ronald J. Loranger: 1989-1993
Bernard R. Sullivan: 1982-1989
George W. Sicaras: 1980-1982
Hugo J. Masini: 1974-1980
Thomas J. Vaughn: 1968-1974
John Kerrigan: 1963-1968
Paul Beckwith: 1958-1963
Michael J. Godfrey: 1944-1958
Charles J. Hallissey: 1941-1944
John J. Butler: 1939-1941
Garret J. Farrell: 1913-1939
Cornelius Ryan: 1901-1904
In a ceremony last week, the Hartford Fire Department promoted 74 people–the largest group in department history, according to the latest issue of the city’s newsletter. Congratulations to all the new assistant chiefs, deputy chiefs, captains, lieutenants, and drivers, along with their families.