Archive for August 8th, 2009

August 8th, 2009

O’Leary Chosen As Acting Chief

by LonSeidman

Waterbury’s recently retired police chief has been chosen by Mayor Tom Dunn to head Wolcott’s Police Department while the selection of a new chief commences. Neil O’Leary, who retired just a few months ago will be sworn in at the Police Department on Monday August 10th at 12 noon.

O’Leary spent his tenure as Waterbury Police Chief emphasizing community policing and buffing up falling enrollment in the Police Athletic League. The PAL had only a couple hundred youths enrolled in its ahtletic programs when he began its revitalization. Today the program – which now includes after school academic instruction – boasts a couple thousand participants with dozens of adult volunteers, including officers. The program now includes a gymnasium at the former St. Lucy School on Division St. as well as an academic center down the street.

In additon to PAL, O’Leary is credited with connecting the police department as an arm of City government to the neighborhoods. Currently, officers are knocking on doors in various Waterbury neighborhoods asking residents about quality of life problems.

It remains to be seen what O’Leary’s plan will be in Wolcott, though his leadeship throughout the area is well respected. Wolcott’s Police Department has been beleagured by a number of internal complaints over the past year. The officers still do an excellent job responding to calls and recently received a state wide accreditation.

At its July meeting, the Town Council authorized the Mayor to sign an agreement with the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association to begin the search for a new chief. Mayor Dunn believes it may be a year until a permanent chief is chosen. O’Leary has committed to serve during that transition period.

What is your opinion of Chief O’Leary?
What should he do to get acquainted with Wolcott?
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