Wednesday, February 13, 2008
20 new detectives sworn in
Pride evident as families, co-workers gather for gold shield event
By William Kaempffer
NEW HAVEN — Other detectives had their badges presented by retired fathers and law enforcement spouses. Detective Elisa Tuozzoli chose her longtime partner, whom she credited with helping teach her the type of cop she wanted to be.
“We did a lot of good work. The people out in the community know us,” she said after a promotional ceremony in City Hall in which Officer Mike Novella bestowed her gold shield. “He showed me to be fair, to make sure the community knows what you’re all about, that you’re a true cop.”
Twenty new detectives were sworn in Tuesday, providing much needed resources to the detective-strapped bureau. With the advancements, the bureau still is about seven detectives shy of a full complement of 61, and Capt. Peter Reichard, the head of detectives, said his hope ultimately is to expand the bureau by another third — to about 80 people — because of increasing caseloads.
“We have to consider increasing the staff of investigative services to about 80 people based on the case loads that have been coming in the last couple of years.”The newest detectives, many already serving temporary stints in the bureau, will get their regular assignments today, but Tuesday family members packed aldermanic chambers to celebrate the advancement. Carol Grasso edged closer with her disposable camera to get a shot of her son, James Grasso Jr.
His father, James Grasso Sr., a retired New Haven detective, presented his son’s badge.
“Extremely proud,” she said, “especially since he graduated from the academy on my birthday. He always said it was good luck.”
Police Chief Francisco Ortiz Jr. underscored the importance of their jobs, relating a conversation with a 15-year-old girl who was brutally assaulted two weeks ago. He said the girl told him she understood that detectives had a lot of cases on their plates but asked him to “tell them this is the most important case in my life right now.” He told the new detectives that they would be defined on how they respond to people in their time of need.
The new detectives range in experience from 5 years on the job to 19.
“We’re very happy,” said Suzanne Machado, who, along all of her future in-laws, watched fiance Bertram Ettienne take his oath. Happy, she said, that he achieved his goal, but equally that the promotional test, which consumed close to a month with studying, was over.
“Four or five hours a day in the afternoon,” she said. “We’re very happy.”
Promoted were: Dietrich Hernandez, Wayne Bullock, Yessennia Olivera, Wendy Barrett, Rose Turney, Matthew Deleo, Robert Criscuolo, Christopher Perrone, Stephan Torquati, Tuozzoli, Wilfredo Cruz, Samuel Brown, Manuella Vensel, Grasso, Scott Branfuhr, Bridget Brosnahan, Hollie Tutrani, Omaida Nieves, Michael White, and Ettienne.
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