FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Reuben F. Bradford, commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, will retire early next year, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Thursday morning.
“Commissioner Bradford did an exceptional job of leading the state’s first responders through a period where they were tested time and time again,” said Malloy in a statement. “Through five presidential emergency declarations and unspeakable tragedy, he worked with the dedicated men and women at the department to make sure that residents received assistance often during their darkest hours. He also led the department through administrative changes that were both necessary and long overdue. I want to thank him for his service, and wish him well on his retirement.”
Bradford, who led the department at the time of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, is the first African-American man to lead the state's largest police organization. He will have served in the post for three years when his retirement becomes effective Feb. 1.
Bradford was an early Malloy appointee, bringing decades of both law enforcement and management experience to the department, according to the statement. He led the administration’s efforts to revamp the agency. Some of his accomplishments include:
- restoring the crime lab’s national accreditation and virtually eliminating any backlogs at the facility;
- meeting every deadline during the implementation of the recent Gun Violence Prevention Legislation; and
- significantly expanding the scope of his department’s work to incorporate the former Department of Homeland Security and other offices in order to achieve greater efficiency in state government.
“Working at the department has presented many challenges, but the underlying work ethic of the people who make up this critically important agency made the task at hand worthwhile,” said Bradford in a statement. “While we have accomplished much, there is much more to be done. I want to thank the governor for giving me the opportunity to once again serve the people of Connecticut.”
Bradford had previously been director of security for the National Football League.
The department is made up of six divisions: the Division of State Police; the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security; the Division of Statewide Emergency Telecommunications; the Division of Scientific Services; the Division of Police Officer Standards and Training Council; and the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control/Connecticut Fire Academy.
Work to find his replacement began several weeks ago when the commissioner raised the possibility of his retirement with the governor’s chief of staff.