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3 Neighborhoods Get New Top Cops

by Allan Appel | Dec 9, 2013 9:43 am

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Posted to: Legal Writes, The Hill

Allan Appel Photo He grew up on Hallock, in Church Street South, then Frank and Rosette streets in the Hill neighborhood; he attended Roberto Clemente School and Lee and Career High. Now 14-year police veteran Tony Reyes is going home as a lieutenant—to take over as the top cop in the neighborhood of his youth, one of a fleet of promoted officers assuming new assignments.

Reyes was one of 12 sergeants promoted to lieutenants—along with eight officers promoted to sergeants—at a ceremony that drew hundreds of family, friends and admirers Friday evening to the Wilbur Cross High School auditorium.

Many of the new lieutenants, like Reyes, will assume new assignments. Taken in sum they represent a significant command shift in the department —as well as racial diversification in the top ranks.

Here’s the list of assignments for the 12 new lieutenants:

Anthony Campbell, currently director of the police training academy, will take over internal affairs. (Current IA chief Lt. Tony Duff will move to a shift patrol supervisor slot.)
Racheal Cain will remain as officer in charge of the Identification Unit.
• Tony Reyes will become the Hill South district manager.
Douglas Harkins will become B Squad shift commander.
• Nicholas Marcucio will become C Squad shift commander.
• Herbert Sharp will take over as Newhallville district manager.
• Makiem Miller will become the Whalley/Beaver Hills district manager.
• Robert Criscuolo becomes chief of the traffic division.
• Max Joyner, currently the top Whalley/Beaver Hills top cop, will succeed Campbell as director of the academy.
• Brendan Hosey will become C Squad shift commander.
• Al Vazquez will remain as officer in charge of the investigative division.
Herb Johnson will remain as Fair Haven district manager.

Click here for an article on the test, results by score, and promotions list that was announced on Nov. 12.

The lieutenants and sergeants will train for a week at a “command college” at the University of New Haven before staring their new assignments.

The city has been eager to fill long vacant command positions, and now it can.

Before being promoted to detective, Reyes walked the blocks he grew up on as a rookie; he was eventually promoted to detective. Most recently he has been in charge of homicide investigations. (Sgt. Robert Lawlor Jr., who has been overseeing the robbery and burglary unit, will now assume that job.)

“Needless to say, I will be particularly passionate about working in the Hill [as the new district manager], as I was born and raised there,” Reyes said.

Of the new lieutenants one is a woman (Lt. Racheal Cain), and six are Latino or African-American. Of the eight new sergeants, four are women.

“The more diversity the better,” said Chief Dean Esserman. “It’s good for the New Haven police department and for New Haven. Be clear: They were promoted because of their merit, which is obvious to all.”

“Good test, good results, good folks moving up,” added city Chief Operating Officer Rob Smuts.

Then officials took their seats on stage, the police color guard entered with solemnity, and the badge ceremony began to unfold.

Assistant Chief Luiz Casanova said the Latino community is “ecstatic” about the promotion of Latino officers to command levels.

Of new Sgt. Betsy Segui, the first female Hispanic to rise to that rank, he added that she “will be a great role model for all officers.”

In his formal remarks Chief Esserman called attention to an old police apothegm: “It is not the rank that makes us believe in the person. It’s the person who makes us believe in the rank.”

Pin, Salute, Kiss

Lt. Herb Johnson said he was ecstatic about remaining in Fair Haven. Two of his top admirers on the district’s management team, Rufina Durazzo and Diane Ecton, seconded that. “We call him the Chief of Fair Haven,” said Durazzo, who works at the Mary Wade Home and for years has organized local parades and other activities.

When it was time for Johnson to be presented with his badge, his wife, Lt. Julie Johnson, stepped up to do the honors. In 2008, when Herb Johnson made sergeant, Julie Johnson was promoted to lieutenant.

To the pleasure and joy of the audience, Johnson badged Johnson. Then Johnson saluted Johnson. Then Johnson kissed Johnson.

Theirs was not the only husband-wife team to badge in public. Officer Pedro Colon pinned the sergeant’s badge on his wife, newly minted Sgt. Manmeet Colon.

In the midst of the formal saluting, the oath-taking, Mayor John DeStefano, reminded officers of the danger and seriousness of their work through a solemn evoking of the death of Sgt. Scott Aponte. The ceremony was very much a family affair.

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