Jonathan R. Mulhern, six days on the job, was sworn in as Branford’s new deputy chief of police by Police Commission chair Jill Marcus at Police Headquarters Monday. The ceremony was attended by police commissioners, town officials, including First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove, police officers, and Mulhern’s family members.
Mulhern, 47, who previously served as North Haven’s deputy police chief, was selected from a field of 26 applicants, described by Chief Kevin Halloran as the “best in the state.” Mulhern was offered the post last month.
Halloran said that it had been 46 years since the department looked outside the department for a “command level” deputy. Branford has been without a deputy police chief since 2012, when then Deputy Chief Tom Fowler left to take a job as police chief of Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Halloran acknowledged Mulhern’s family history in police work, noting that his brothers serve in East Haven and Madison, and his father had served in Hamden.
He said police had previously been “unreachable” and that the department is presently in the “reform area.” He said there had been lots of turnover, but that there’s now a “young department.
“Mulhern brings experience as part of the succession plan,” said Halloran. “We looked inside and outside of the department. It was an interesting process.” He said that the testing process produced 26 applicants, the “best of the best” in the state, vetted through the South Central Chiefs of Police Association. It was then whittled down to seven.
The competition was extremely tough,” Halloran said.
Halloran said that Mulhern was “digging into things.” He said it was an easy transition. “It’s a top notch police department here,” he added.
First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove described Mulhern as “a great asset, not only to the department, but to the town. There’s been a lot of change, demands, pressure.”
Mulhern addressed the audience, thanking the Police Commission and Board of Selectmen, including First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove. “I knew I had a tough decision,” he said. He said he was impressed with the professionalism of the department. “I look forward to progressive policing based on traditional policing. We police ourselves before we police others.”
He said that coming in from the outside he has a “high bar to meet,” but there are a lot of similarities. “It’s one big family,” he said.
After Mulhern was sworn in, his wife Alycia and sons Carter and Cayden pinned his badge on his uniform, making his new position official.