Meet the Command Staff

Assistant Chief Kenny Howell 

Kenny Howell, a native of New Haven, began his law enforcement career in 1991 as a police recruit with the New Haven Police Department. During his career with the NHPD, he held various leadership roles, including District Commander, Deputy Patrol Commander and Shift Commander. Additionally, he held various line, investigative, and supervisory roles within patrol operations, investigations, and support services.

Assistant Chief Howell served the New Haven Police Department for just under 22 years, before retiring in 2013. He was then hired as Chief of Police in the town of Millbury Massachusetts, where he served for approximately 3 years. Throughout his career he has been a strong advocate of building trust and forging meaningful relationships through community policing.

Assistant Chief Howell was sworn-in as a member of the Hartford Police Department on December 21, 2021. He currently oversees the 4 bureaus: Patrol Operations, Administrative Services, Professional Standards, and Investigative Services.

 


Deputy Chief Dustin Rendock

Dustin Rendock began his career with the Hartford Police Department as a police recruit in 1994 and graduated top of his class from the Hartford Police Academy the same year. He has held various line and leadership roles in field operations, investigative, and administrative bureaus and divisions throughout his career with the Department. Deputy Chief Rendock currently commands the Department’s Administrative Services Bureau and serves on the CRCOG Capital Region Emergency Planning Council and Connecticut DESPP DEMHS Homeland Security Working Group.

 


Deputy Chief Sonia Watson

Sonia Watson was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief in April of 2018. She is the only female currently appointed to this rank. Deputy Chief Watson is the Chief of Patrol Operations, and the Community Service Bureau; including Detention, Auxiliary Services, the Patrol Officer Field Training Program, the Emergency Response Team, Marine and Dive Team, Honor Guard, Hostage Negotiation Team, and Bomb Squad.

Deputy Chief Watson started her career in 2003 as a patrol officer after graduating from the Hartford Police Academy. In 2007, she was promoted to a detective and in 2008, was promoted to the rank of sergeant. As such, she supervised in the Patrol Division before she was assigned to the Internal Affairs Division. In 2014, she was subsequently promoted to the rank of lieutenant and became the Commander of the Special Investigations Division. She also held the role of the Hostage Negotiation Commander and graduated from the Southern Police Institute Command Officer Development Course. As a Deputy Chief, she previously served as the Chief of the Community Service Bureau, then transitioned to Chief of Administrative Services. She is a graduate of the Police Executive Research Forum: Senior Management of Police Institute and has served successfully in several command roles.

 


Deputy Chief Ian Powell

Ian Powell was born and raised in Hartford. He graduated the Hartford Police Academy in 2002 and served as an officer in Patrol, as a Northwest Conditions Officer, and as the Westend Community Service Officer.  He was promoted to sergeant in 2008 where he supervised in the Patrol Division, the Property Room, and the Southwest Conditions Unit. In 2015 Deputy Chief Powell was promoted to lieutenant. In this role, he worked as the Watch Commander, commanded the Marine Division, and was assigned as the South District Commander.  Deputy Chief Powell was promoted to captain in 2018. As captain, he was assigned to the Professional Standards Bureau, which includes the Planning and Accreditation Division, the Training Academy, the Career Development Division, Personnel Unit, the Background Unit, and the Internal Affairs Division. He transitioned to the North Community Services Bureau, overseeing the North District operations in June of 2020. He was appointed to Deputy Chief in December of 2021 and currently leads the Investigative Services Bureau. This bureau includes the Major Crimes Division, the Vice Intelligence and Narcotics Division, the Special Investigative Division, and the Crime Scene Division.

 


Deputy Chief Jason Lee

Jason Lee joined the Hartford Police Department in 2005. He served as an officer in Patrol, the Safe City initiative, and the Southwest Conditions Unit until he was promoted to detective in 2010. He was assigned to the Crime Scene Division where he served as a crime scene investigator, collaborating with the various divisions within the Department on major investigations. In 2015 he was promoted to sergeant. In this role he served in Patrol, the Planning and Accreditation Division, the Crime Scene Division, and as Chief of Staff. In 2018, Deputy Chief Lee was promoted to lieutenant and served as the Commander of the Crime Scene Division, Community Outreach Team Commander, and Chief of Staff. In December of 2021, he was promoted to captain and subsequently appointed to Deputy Chief of the Professional Standards Bureau. In this role, Deputy Chief Lee leads the Planning and Accreditation Division, the Training Academy, the Career Development Division, Personnel Unit, the Background Unit, and the Internal Affairs Division.

 


Captain Gabriel Laureano

Gabriel Laureano joined in the Hartford Police Department in 2003. He began his career as an officer in Patrol and later worked in the Northeast Conditions Unit. In 2007, he was promoted to detective and was assigned to the Vice and Narcotics Division where he worked with the FBI and DEA investigating major drug cases. He was promoted to sergeant in 2009. In this capacity he was assigned to the Patrol Division, the Northeast Conditions Unit, and as an investigator in the Internal Affairs Division. He then was promoted to lieutenant in 2014, where he worked as the Watch Commander in Patrol, the South District Commander, and the Commander of the Traffic Division. Captain Laureano was promoted to Captain in 2018 where he commanded all Patrol operations, including the Traffic Division, and the Community Service Bureau, as well as all department special teams. This includes the Emergency Response Team, Marine and Dive Team, Honor Guard, Hostage Team, and Bomb Squad. Currently, Captain Laureano commands the South Community Serve Bureau and special teams. Captain Laureano has been involved in, and led many committees throughout his career. He also organized the Hartford Police Softball Team that has won several Hartford Police vs. Hartford Fire tournaments over the years.

 


Captain Michael Coates

Michael Coates joined the Hartford Police Department in 2003. He served as an officer until 2007, when he was promoted to detective and assigned to the Major Crimes Division. In 2008, Captain Coates was promoted to the rank of sergeant, and spent the next six years working in the Patrol Division, Street Crimes Unit, and the Vice and Narcotics Division. In 2014, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and was assigned as the commander of the Internal Affairs Division. He spent several years in the Internal Affairs Division before being assigned as the commander of the Vice, Intelligence, and Narcotics Division. In 2018, he was promoted to the rank of Captain. In this role, Captain Coates commanded the Investigative Service Bureau, which consists of the Major Crimes Division, the Vice Intelligence and Narcotics Division, the Special Investigative Division, and Crime Scene Division. Captain Coates has been assigned as the commander Patrol and the department special teams, which include the Emergency Response Team, Marine and Dive Team, Honor Guard, Hostage Team, and Bomb Squad. He is currently assigned as the commander of the North District Community Services Bureau.

 


Captain Jeffrey Rousseau

Jeffrey Rousseau was sworn in as a police officer with the Hartford Police Department in 2003. He served as a police officer in Patrol and was assigned to Operation True North in the summer of 2006.  In 2008, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and was assigned to the Patrol Division as a supervisor; he was later assigned to the Police Academy as a supervisor, an instructor, and later as the Acting Commander.  Captain Rousseau was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2014 and was assigned as the Commander of the Detention Division, Court Division, and Property Control Division.  In 2018, he was promoted to his current rank of Captain.  Since then, Captain Rousseau has been assigned as the Commander of the Administrative and Support Services Bureau, served as the Department Advocate, and now as the commander of the Investigative Services Bureau. In this position, he commands the Major Crimes Division, the Vice Intelligence and Narcotics Division, the Special Investigations Division and Crime Scene Division.  He also serves as the commander of the Greater Hartford Regional Auto Theft Task Force (GHRATTF).

 


Captain Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O’Brien began his career with the Hartford Police Department in 2008. Upon graduation he served in the Patrol Division until he was assigned as a Community Service Officer in the Clay Arsenal Neighborhood.  He was then promoted to detective in 2014, where he was assigned to the Special Investigations Division. In this role, he was assigned as a member of the State of Connecticut Internet Crimes Against Children Task (ICAC) Force.  In 2015, he was promoted to sergeant and assigned to the Internal Affairs Division as an investigator. In 2018, Captain O’Brien was promoted to lieutenant and remained in the Internal Affairs Division as the commander. He later served as the commander of the Traffic Division. In December of 2021, he was promoted to Captain and assigned to command the Professional Standards Bureau. In this role, he commands the Planning and Accreditation Division, the Police Academy, Professional Development, the Personnel Unit, and the Internal Affairs Division.

 


Captain Vincent Benvenuto

Vincent (Vinnie) Benvenuto began his career in law enforcement in 1987 with the New York City Police Department. After a storied 20 year career with the NYPD, where he served as an officer and supervisor in various capacities, Captain Benvenuto retired from NYPD and joined the ranks of the Hartford Police Department in 2008. Captain Benvenuto served the city in the Patrol Division for several years as an officer. During his time as an officer, he was also assigned as the Front Street Business District Community Service Officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 2015 where he supervised the Patrol Division in various neighborhoods. In 2018, He was promoted to lieutenant, where he served as the Watch Commander and most recently as the Commander of the Intelligence Unit within the Vice Intelligence and Narcotics Division. Captain Benvenuto was promoted to his current rank in December of 2021. He is currently assigned as the Patrol Captain where he commands the Patrol Division, a 24 hour-7 days a week operation.