DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien Police Chief Duane J. Lovello announced Thursday that he will retire in February after 35 years with the Darien Police Department.
Lovello's last day will be Feb. 15. He notified the Darien Police Commission and First Selectman Jayme Stevenson of his decision earlier this week.
"It's just time. I've had a career that was challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. I am going to miss it, but it's the right time for me to move on," Lovello said.
The Darien Police Commission will be tasked with naming a successor to Chief Lovello.
“The town of Darien is very fortunate to have three police commissioners who are fully engaged in ensuring that the town hires and promotes individuals who will move the Department forward," he said. "Naming my replacement will be no exception. I’ll leave knowing a great police department is well-positioned for the future.”
Lovello began his career with the department in December 1981. He was transferred to the Detective Division in October 1986, and was promoted to sergeant in July 1993, lieutenant in September 2000 and captain in December 2000.
Upon the retirement of former Chief Hugh McManus, the Darien Police Commission named Lovello Darien’s ninth Chief of Police, and he was sworn into office in March 2005.
His tenure saw much change for the Darien Police Department.
“One of the things that truly sets this Department apart is an enthusiasm for change. There’s never a shortage of ideas. Every chief I’ve served under left this department better than he found it. I had the privilege to work for three fine individuals – Chief John Jordan, Chief Bruce Anderson, and Chief Hugh McManus, with each imparting skills I tried to emulate,” Lovello said.
Under Lovello, the Darien Police Department became one of the few in the State to achieve Tier II Accreditation. An expanded and thoroughly renovated police facility was constructed under his leadership.
The School Resource Officer was implemented, and in the wake of the 2012 deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, each school campus was assigned a School Liaison Officer. The K9 and Traffic divisions were formed, as was the Domestic Violence Unit and Accident Investigation Team.
The department joined a regional Emergency Response Team, the Youth Bureau was expanded, the Cops and Kids Adventures program began, a Public Information Officer was named and the Department’s Table of Organization was restructured. Command level officers are now sent for advanced training, including attendance at the prestigious Senior Management Institute for Police at Boston University.
Advances in technology have been embraced by the department, and Lovello says he is proud of its use of social media.
Appointed by Gov. Dannel Malloy to the Police Officer Standards and Training Council in 2012, he was subsequently appointed as chairman in 2016. He currently serves as president of the Fairfield County Chiefs of Police Association and is a past president of the Fairfield County Detectives Conference and the Darien Police Association.
He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Haven and a law degree from the University of Connecticut; he is a member of the Connecticut Bar and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Session 215.