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New Haven police chief takes oath, promises accountability

Karl R. Jacobson, a 15-year member of the New Haven Police Department, was sworn in Wednesday as the city’s new chief, promising the department will be transparent, open and accountable to the public under his watch.
Tyler Russell
/
Connecticut Public
Karl R. Jacobson, a 15-year member of the New Haven Police Department, was sworn in Wednesday as the city’s new chief, promising the department will be transparent, open and accountable to the public under his watch.

Karl R. Jacobson, a 15-year member of the New Haven Police Department, was sworn in Wednesday as the city’s new chief, promising the department will be transparent, open and accountable to the public under his watch.

Jacobson, assistant chief since October 2019, acknowledged during a swearing-in ceremony at City Hall that he’s taking on the top job during challenging times for the city of more than 130,000 residents.

The Connecticut State Police are currently investigating how a Black man was seriously injured in the back of a police van when the driver, an officer, braked suddenly last month.

Karl Jacobson, nominee for New Haven police chief, aims to make community policing a priority

“It is my hope that someday support for the department will be uniformly strong across every neighborhood, in every sector of our society and city,” he said. “I want all parts of the New Haven community to feel safe when the police arrive. That is our goal.”

Jacobson pledged a strong commitment to a “community-based, problem-oriented and data-driven police strategy” that doesn’t measure success by the number of arrests or traffic stops made. He also promised his officers he’ll work to create an environment that makes them feel valued.

The New Haven Board of Alders unanimously confirmed Democratic Mayor Justin Elicker’s nomination of Jacobson on Tuesday night.

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