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1984: Capitol Hill’s Old Guard Steps Aside

[IMGCAP(1)]The year 1984 was a time of transition for the Capitol Police. Longtime Chief James Powell, who served for 25 years on Capitol Hill, left his post, and four other veteran police officers followed his lead that year. In addition to their departures, Roll Call chronicled the hiring of Powell’s replacement, James Carvino.

Carvino was named chief in August but did not succeed Powell until October. The search for a new Capitol Police chief was a wide one that involved pulling together a “five-man panel of nationally recognized law enforcement officials to review the initial applications.” When he finally came aboard, Carvino took the reins of the 1,280-man police department.

Carvino had prior experience as an officer in New York and Wisconsin. In New York City, he started out as a patrolman and retired as the commanding officer of the Organized Crime Control Bureau’s narcotics division; in Racine, Wis., he was the chief of a 298-man police agency.

One month after Powell announced that he would retire, four veteran officers, with almost 130 years of combined service on the Hill, also declared they would retire by the summer of 1985. Among those to retire was the senior-most member of the department, Inspector Leonard Ballard, 75. He was followed by Inspector Wilbert McDonald, 75, Inspector Eugene Rucchio, 67, and Lt. Albert Samuels, 62.

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