City reviewing applications for police chief

The application portal for the position of Shelton’s next Police Chief has been closed and Mayor Mark Lauretti said he has received four applications to review before making his decision.

In November of last year, Lauretti said he felt no rush to find the city’s next chief of police.

Nearly six months later, as the city is facing millions of dollars in potential cuts in state funding to education, Lauretti said finding a police chief still isn’t a main priority for him.

“I’ve been preoccupied with the budget so I haven’t put much thought into it,” said Lauretti.

The selection process

Mayor Lauretti said all of the applications will be evaluated to see if the applicants meet the requirements for the position.

According to the job description that the city posted for 25 days before closing the application portal, in order to be eligible for the position of Chief of Police an applicant must have the following: A bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university in law enforcement administration or a related field, a Master’s Degree in law enforcement administration or a related field, 10 years of “progressively responsible law enforcement administration experience,” which includes at least seven years in a supervisory or administrative capacity or any equivalent combination of education and qualifying experience. Applicants also must have a valid Connecticut Class two driver’s license.

After the mayor completes his review of the applications, because there’s only four applicants, they will probably all get an interview, according to Lauretti.

Following the interviews, the mayor will appoint an applicant to fill the position. The mayor’s appointment is subject to ratification by the Board of Aldermen. The Board of Aldermen is also responsible for determining total compensation for the position.

The Chief of Police’s contract cannot exceed five years, according to the job description. The Chief may also be removed from office during his/her term of the contract only if “just cause” is shown.

Current Interim Police Chief

Since the mayor announced that former Shelton Police Captain Shawn Sequeira would be assuming the role of Interim Police Chief, he has been committed to the job.

Sequeira said when he was hired that he hadn’t been told how long the mayor planned to keep him as acting chief of the department, but that he was committed to staying as long as the city needed him.

Interim Chief Sequeira said that he has thrown his name into the hat, along with the three other applicants, and would like to continue in his job as the leader of the city’s police department.

Sequeira retired from the state police to become a Shelton police captain, before being hired as the Interim Chief and the city’s first black supervisor in department history. While with the state police, Sequeira was a detective assigned to the Major Crime Squad.

Despite Sequeira leading the department since former Chief of nine years Joel Hurliman retired in October of 2015, Lauretti declined to comment on whether or not Sequeira had an advantage over the other applicants.