NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Joseph Vitale Jr. has spent nearly 30 years at the Yale University Police Department, and now, he will soon help manage New Haven’s emergency 9-1-1 call center in his newest position.

Mayor Justin Elicker announced Thursday that Vitale would be the next Director of Public Safety Communications, giving him direct oversight of the city’s 9-1-1 call center, also known as the City’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).

PSAP takes residents’ 9-1-1 calls and dispatches the appropriate emergency response team (such as police, fire, or ambulance services). In 2021, officials stated that New Haven PSAP received 123,801 total 9-1-1 calls and texts, the highest number of any municipal PSAP in Connecticut. 

“Joe Vitale brings to the job an impressive mix of public safety and emergency response experience, deep knowledge of the New Haven community, and longstanding relationships with the New Haven Police Department and other local, state, and federal partners,” said Elicker. “It’s a critically important job and I’m thankful that Joe Vitale is willing to take on the assignment to serve and lead the City’s 9-1-1 telecommunications center.”

Vitale most recently served as the Captain of Operations for the Yale University Police Department, working his way up the ranks from officer to senior leadership over the course of his nearly 30-year career.

“I am honored to serve as the City of New Haven’s Director of Public Safety Communications and to work with Mayor Elicker and alongside the City’s first responders to ensure that when residents call 9-1-1, they get the emergency response and help they need when they need it,” said Vitale. “I’m committed to doing everything I can to support our 9-1-1 dispatchers as they provide this critical life-saving service to New Haven residents.”

Vitale’s first day as Director of Public Safety Communications will be Monday, May 23, according to city officials.