Shelton in no hurry to fill role of Police Chief

It’s been more than a year since the city of Shelton’s previous Chief of Police Joel Hurliman retired in October 2015 and Mayor Mark Lauretti said he’s in no hurry to fill the position.

“We’re busy doing other things and I don’t really feel any sense of urgency to do that,” said Lauretti.

He added that he doesn’t see the lack of a permanent Chief as an issue and the city has yet to place an ad looking to fill that vacant spot.

“I let the critics worry about stuff like that... We don’t have a time frame to fill that position and this is not unusual for me, i do this with a lot of things. This will be my fourth police chief and the one before the last one almost took me two and a half years to replace. That used to drive the nay sayers crazy…” said Lauretti.

Captain Shawn Sequeira is currently the acting or interim chief for the Shelton PD but he said he shies away from referring to himself as either of those titles.

“I don’t consider myself now as the acting Chief because what is the ‘acting chief’, a pretend Chief? I look at it as I have a job to do so I’m going to do it to the best of my ability,” said Sequeira.

Before being hired, Sequeira was assigned several training areas to satisfy the certification standards of a local police officer.  He completed that training on Sept. 24, 2015 and was granted certification.

Sequeira is a Stratford resident and father of two who retired from the state police to become the Shelton police captain last spring. He is also the city’s first black supervisor in Shelton police department history. While with the state police, Sequeira was a detective assigned to the Major Crime Squad.

After more than a year of working within the city, he said he’s adjusted well, but hasn’t asked the mayor of any plans to officially make him the department’s Chief.

“There’s a good chance I will put in for the position,” said Sequeira. “But I haven’t asked or spoke with the Mayor or said anything about being Chief. I also haven’t heard anything about the posting yet so that’s why I’ve always deferred questions about personnel to the Mayor.

Mayor Lauretti said the city has plans to make the ad available  in either December or January of 2017.

“Quiet honestly I could wait five years to post the job if I want to,” said Lauretti. “As long as you have a chain of command in this military organization and people follow the chain of command than there’s no issue. Issues develop when people don’t do their job. My agenda is the city’s agenda and if people don’t like the city’s agenda then they can replace me and I’ve been saying that for 25 years.”

Compliance Officer within the Certification Division at Connecticut’s Police Academy William E. Tanner, III MPA said the only criteria in the regulations is that a Chief of Police must be a certified police officer to hold such title. As of Sept. 24, 2015, Sequeira satisfies that criteria.

Sequeira said regardless of whether or not he becomes Chief in the end of this process, his focus on providing safety for the community remains intact.

“I look forward to continuing my work here in Shelton, I really like the city and wouldn’t be here if I didn’t,” said Sequeira.