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Police Chief Tracey Gove to retire 11/30

West Hartford, Connecticut (November 13, 2017) – Police Chief Tracey G. Gove, 45, announced today he will retire from the West Hartford Police Department on November 30, 2017.

Tracey Gove was appointed Police Chief on December 13, 2011, by former Town Manager Ron VanWinkle. He has been a member of the West Hartford Police Department for 22 years.

“This is a bittersweet decision for me, but I am excited about my new opportunity,” he said.

Chief Gove will be taking a position with The Travelers as Director of Corporate Security where he will oversee security operations in the Greater Hartford area and partner with Internal Investigations and Executive Protection.

During his tenure with the police department, Chief Gove has focused his leadership on collaborating and maintaining ties with the West Hartford community.  He instituted “Coffee with the Beat Officer” in various business districts, “Meet your district officer with the Schools,” “Coffee with the Chief for Faith-Based Leaders,” and “Community Classroom: Use of Force” programs.  He also reinstituted the department’s Citizen Academy.  Chief Gove partnered with CCSU to create a unique Master’s Degree program for Law Enforcement and numerous West Hartford officers have taken advantage of the opportunity. 

“Some of my favorite memories are attending the many community and business association meetings each month, engaging and speaking with our citizens whether formally or at a local coffee shop, and spending time with the seniors at the Bishops Corner and Elmwood Senior Centers who always made me feel welcome,” Chief Gove said.

“I have been overwhelmed with the support I have received from members of the Council, Town Managers Ron VanWinkle and Matthew Hart, as well as other department directors and town staff at every level,” said Chief Gove.

“Most of all, I am proud of having been given the chance to lead the fine men and women, both sworn and civilian, of the West Hartford Police Department,” said Chief Gove. 

“When people ask about my top accomplishments, I have trouble answering that question - because all of the great things done at the police department were the product of my staff.  No chief is solely responsible for the accomplishments of a department, it’s the people in the agency who do the work and make us, as police leaders, look good.  For that, I am incredibly grateful and humbled,” said Chief Gove.

“I speak for all residents and employees of West Hartford in thanking Police Chief Tracey Gove for his passion for public service and leadership in our community.  He has served our town for 22 years and as Chief since 2011 working as a true partner with all members of our community,” said Mayor Shari Cantor.

“I will miss him not only as an outstanding police chief but also as a friend.  He is hard working, caring, and ethical. He has been a leader in community policing. He has kept us safe and we are grateful that he is leaving us with a wonderful police department that has our community’s safety and well-being as its top priority,” she continued.

“Chief Gove has been enormously helpful to me in my first few months as Town Manager, both in terms of introducing me to the police department and the community. I greatly respect his talents as a leader and as a manager, and wish him continued success in the future,” said Matt Hart, Town Manager.

“A chief has the difficult job of balancing the needs of the community, the needs of the Town, and those of his officers.  Chief Gove as excelled in doing this in a caring and compassionate manner,” said Assistant Chief Robert McCue.

Chief Gove’s accolades are many.  In 1999 he was selected Police Officer of the Year, and over the years has received the police department’s Unit Citation Award, Distinguished Unit Citation Award, Police Merit Award, and Distinguished Service Award and Medal.  He also received the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Enforcement Award.

He graduated first in his class at the Connecticut State Police Academy and while at the Academy received the Samuel Luciano Award for academic excellence and the CSP Academy Alumni Association Award for overall performance. 

Chief Gove received his Bachelor of Science degree from Westfield State College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Hartford.  He is married and the proud father of three sons.

Assistant Chief Daniel Coppinger will serve as acting police chief in the interim.

For more information, contact Matt Hart, Town Manager, at 860-561-7440.