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Greenwich Police Chief Hopes to Add Manpower

GREENWICH, Conn. – Just six months after James Heavey was sworn in as the chief of police in Greenwich, the department is on its way to achieving one of the goals he made upon taking the oath – becoming a full-strength police force.

“It’s a competitive employee market right now,” Heavey said late Thursday morning. “The process of getting hired is a long arduous one for the police profession. It takes a long time to get a new recruit, and it’s a total of 18 months' probation.”

At full strength, the department would have 155 officers. Heavey said during an interview in January that he would continue to have a hand in choosing the right officers to fill current and future openings that come from retirements. The department has about 130 on its force, which Heavey says puts the department at a disadvantage.

A total of 10 officers are in the police academy now, and Heavey says the department plans to hire at least four more in July. Greenwich may not be at full strength for another year.

“It was one of my goals when I became chief to get us up to full strength. Our entry-level requirements are higher than other departments. We’re very selective because it makes a big difference,” said Heavey.

Officer John Tar was sworn into the department in August and graduated in January at the top of his class of 41 officers at the police academy in Maryland. “I’m hoping to fulfill the rest of my career here,” Tar said Thursday. “The chief is looking for the best and brightest, and I’m hoping to fulfill those wishes here.”

Ted Latiak, another officer and Greenwich native, recently completed a two-week course at Fairfield County Detective Conference Detective School as well. He, too, finished as No. 1 in his class. His classmate, Officer Kyle O’Neill, who also attended the detective academy and came out in the Top 10 in the class, cannot be placed into the detective division until the manpower in the patrol division is filled.

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