di Marcello Mento
Rome, May 31 - Former Naples prefect Alessandro Pansa was named Italy's new police chief on Friday, replacing Antonio Manganelli who died in March. Pansa, 62, worked closely with the highly respected Manganelli and their then-commander Gianni De Gennaro at the command centre of the Italian police force. The appointment was made by Italy's Cabinet on the advice of Interior Minister Angelino Alfano. Pansa, who was born in Eboli in Salerno province, studied law in Naples and began police work in 1975 in Calabria. From there, he made a steady climb through the ranks of various police forces, specializing in organized crime and drug trafficking at the national and international level before eventually moving into the field of economic crime investigation. In 1996, he became director in the State police where he continued in investigations of international criminal organizations. Pansa become central director of Italy's immigration and border police in 2003 and within two years, was promoted to deputy chief as well as director of criminal investigations. He also began director of the joint Criminalpol organization, which implements government policies related to crime fighting. In 2007, Pansa was appointed prefect of Naples and was quickly drawn into a major investigation of the Campania region's waste emergency.