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Governor Ned Lamont


Governor Lamont, Mayor Bronin, Commissioner Rovella Announce Passing of Bernard Sullivan

Bernie Sullivan

Bernard Sullivan, former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety and chief of the Hartford Police Department. [Download image in high quality]

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont, Mayor Luke Bronin, and Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Commissioner James C. Rovella today announced the passing of Bernard Sullivan, former commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety (now known as DESPP) and police chief of the Hartford Police Department.

Known to all as “Bernie,” Sullivan became a Hartford beat cop in 1964, rising to the rank of police chief in 1982. Following seven years as chief of the Hartford Police Department, he was chosen by Governor William A. O’Neill in December 1989 to serve as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety, where he served through the end of January 1991. He was then employed as acting police chief for Central Connecticut State University and assisted the process of selecting a permanent chief. In 1992, Sullivan was chosen by Speaker of the House Tom Ritter to serve as chief of staff for the Connecticut House Democrats caucus and held that position through two speakers until retiring from the public sector in 2000.

“On behalf of the residents of Connecticut, I extend my deepest condolences to Bernie Sullivan’s family, and want each of them to know how grateful we are to have had his service in our state,” said Governor Lamont. “He is extraordinarily well known among Connecticut’s law enforcement community, and had an impact on the lives of so many police officers who are protecting our neighborhoods today. We are blessed to have had someone as committed as him in public service.”

“Bernie Sullivan grew up in Hartford, served Hartford, led the Hartford Police Department with distinction for seven years as chief, and went on to serve as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Safety,” said Mayor Bronin. “He was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply about our city and our state, and he and his family are in our prayers today.”

Sullivan is recognized by his peers as a distinguished and progressive law enforcement leader. His dedication and commitment to protecting the lives of all Connecticut citizens set a standard that few in law enforcement can match.

“I’m honored to have worked with Chief Sullivan and call him friend,” said Commissioner Rovella, who had a very close and special bond with him. “He was my patrol captain and chief at the Hartford Police Department. I consider him a mentor, a role model, and a compass. He was an innovator and a respected police chief and commissioner. His words and leadership will forever benefit the State of Connecticut and those who served with him.”

U.S. and State of Connecticut flags are being lowered to half-staff in his honor at all DESPP and Hartford Police Department locations throughout the state. Funeral arrangements are in the process of being finalized.

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