The path that Hartford native David Rosado chose 19 years ago not only has lead to what has been recognized as a “extraordinary career” with the Connecticut State Police but also has taken him to a historic milestone for the state’s Latino community.
With his recent promotion to lieutenant colonel, Rosado, who is 44 and of Puerto Rican descent, holds the highest rank a Latino has even achieved in this law enforcement agency. In this high-level leadership post the former commercial insurance underwriter manages the field operations command, a division that employs about 700 troopers as well as civilians in any array of highly visible duties, including traffic oversight and criminal investigation.
Rosado’s promotion is “a historic one,” said state Commissioner Dora B. Schriro who oversee the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. This is the second time she has promoted Rosado during her tenure, she noted. Last year, it was from captain to major.
This appointment also has drawn the attention of the Latino community. Werner Oyanadel, executive director of the state’s Latin and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission, was among the attendees when Governor Dannel Malloy presided at Rosado’s official swearing in April 1. In a Facebook posting, which has drawn many “likes” and positive comments, Oyanadel included a photo with the new lieutenant colonel and noted the historical significance to Latinos of Rosado’s promotion.
“It is always good news to see diversity at the top of our public agencies, particularly with highly qualified individuals,” Oyanadel added recently.
Rosado expresses pride and excitement “to be the first (Latino) guy to move up” to this leadership position, but also hopes his advancement will encourage other Latino troopers to seek higher rank. “We have a lot of talented folks in the pipeline,” he said.
The Division of State Police currently has 57 Latinos among its 1,100 troopers, according to its public information office. Rosado said the agency has to be “progressive” and help “more under-represented groups come up through the ranks” without compromising its standards.
The need for greater diversity in the top rung of public agencies, expecially as the economy becomes more global and the workforce diversifies, was underscored on Monday, April 10 in a comment from Oyanadel. “LPRAC is pleased with Lt. Colonel Rosado’s promotion but would encourage Connecticut leaders and influence makers to do more on this front to ensure our state really reflect the people that it serves.” The LPRAC executive director added, “Such promotions must continue to happen to better ensure a culture conducive to the success of our state’s economy.”
Rosado’s promotion, Schriro said, “is indicative of a police force that is continuously striving to reflect the community we serve” as well of “his character and his many accomplishments in the course of an extraordinary career.” The public safety commissioner added she expects he will “continue to exceed all of our expectations in his new role.”
Rosado advocates “leading by example” and he has set high standards for those Latinos who decide to emulate his success.
While Rosado was moving up in the State Police chain of command, he also was earning a juris doctor degree in 2007 from the University of Connecticut School of Law, passed the bar exam on first try, participated in numerous community endeavors, raised a family and, during summers, patroled centerfield for several Hartford area baseball teams, a pastime that the 44-year-old central Connecticut resident continues to enjoy.
He met his wife, who is from the Bronx, N.Y. and Puerto Rican, while at UConn. They have a teenage daughter and two younger sons. In his time off, Rosado likes to spend time with his family and he enjoys watching movies. He runs five days a week and his wife also is a runner.
In addition to his law credentials, Rosado holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from UConn and has attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
Rosado became his state police career as a trooper assigned to Troop I in Bethany He steadily moved up the ranks and in 2005 was appointed acting commanding officer for the labor relations unit. He subsequently served as the commanding officer of Troop W at Bradley International Airport, Troop H in Hartford, the internal affairs unit, and the Bureau of Investigation.
At the time of his advancement to lieutenant colonel, Rosado was overseeing the division’s Central District based in Hartford and directing 300 sworn and civilian personnel.
Rosado is a product of Hartford’s South End and is the son of Puerto Rican-born parents who came to Connecticut as teenagers. Growing up he said he had the “best of two worlds, speaking Spanish with his parents and English with his siblings. He said being bilingual is a big help in his job
Looking back at his boyhood, Rosado said it was a “different time” and “we could play in our backyards all day.” The game that most attracted the young Rosado was baseball. He played centerfielder at Bulkeley High School and for the University of Connecticut. After graduation, he remained active as a member of amateur league tceams and currently suits up for the Glastonbury team in a central Connecticut men’s league.
While acknowledging that the Rosados are “definitely a Yankee family,” the state police commander said his hero and inspiration is the late Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates fame. “He was a great hall of fame player but even better human being and he was Puerto Rican,” said Rosado.
Two pictures of Clemente are prominently displayed among a lot of Yankee memorabilia in Rosado’s Middletown office. One of the photos carries the saying “If you have the opportunity in life to make things better and you don’t you’re wasting your time on earth.”
In this regard, Rosado said it is important to give back to the community and among his activities is serving since June 2010 on the board of trustees for the Klingberg Family Centers, a New Britain based social agency which “helps kids in need,” he said.
Currently, the board’s vice chairman, Rosado also “participates in a variety of Klingberg events, volunteering his time and energy,” said Steven A. Girelli, the centers’ president and chief executive officer. “David is well-like, highly respected, and regarded as a tremendous resource for the organization,” Girelli said.
Helping children also is at the core of what Rosado recalls as being among his most memorable days with the State Police. “When I was commander of Troop H in Hartford we organized annually a toy drive for the Connecticut Children’s Medical and personally delivered the toys,” he said. “To see the smiles light up on those little kids really moved me,” he added.