Former Hartford Police chief, commissioner dies

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut police community is mourning the death of a giant in their field, former Public Safety Commissioner and former Hartford Police Chief Bernie Sullivan.

Sullivan died Tuesday after a long illness at the age of 78, according to his family. He suffered from chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, a rare form of blood cancer.

Sullivan was a Hartford native who started at Hartford Police as a patrolman and became chief at 39, the youngest chief in city history. While chief he also had the distinction of working with the current commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, James Rovella, and gave Rovella his first promotion.

Two years later he was named commissioner of Public Safety by Governor William O’Neill. He also served as chief of staff to then-House Speaker Tom Ritter.

Calling hours will be held Thursday and a funeral will be held Friday, both in Glastonbury. Find out more about Chief Sullivan’s funeral arrangements and obituary here.

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