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Heavey Becomes Greenwich's 16th Police Chief

GREENWICH, Conn. — James Heavey plans to continue to push crime prevention and community efforts in addition to intelligence-led policing in his new role as head of the Greenwich Police Department.

Heavey was sworn in as the department's new chief by First Selectman Peter Tesei on Tuesday afternoon outside the Public Safety Complex in central Greenwich.

"It's a shared moment for the Heavey family, but also for the police department," said Heavey, who became the department's 16th chief. "We continue to move forward from a good spot."

After being sworn in, Heavey's wife Kia, along with children Ana, 11, and Jamie, 10, pinned the chief's new badge and collar brass to his lapel. Heavey thanked the selectmen, friends, family, fellow officers and past chiefs. Ana was in the chorus from Western Middle School that sang the National Anthem before the ceremony. Jamie stood with his fellow Boy Scouts Pack 35 members before presenting the chief's badge to his father.

Heavey succeeds Chief David Ridberg, who had served as chief since 2007. According to the Board of Selectmen, who approved his appointment in September, Heavey will earn $146,413, a 10 percent jump from his deputy chief's position.

Heavey said the department in the next few months will begin reorganizing and appoint a new deputy chief, captain, lieutenant and sergeant. "The transition stuff, that's the hardest part," Heavey said before the ceremony. "I'm really looking forward to getting an opportunity putting my fingerprint on the new sergeants and the lieutenants. ... They're going to be the future of the department." Heavey added he hoped to leave a positive legacy as some of the previous chiefs did.

Heavey had served as a captain since 2010 and as deputy chief since June. The position of deputy chief had been vacant since 2007, when Ridberg was promoted to replace retiring Chief James Walters. A promotions freeze was in effect because of a lawsuit by former Lt. Gary Honulik, who claimed he was bypassed unfairly for a promotion. The suit was dismissed in 2009.

Heavey began his career as a Greenwich police officer in 1986 and was promoted to sergeant in 1999 and lieutenant in 2003. Heavey holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice administration and a master's in public administration. He is an Army veteran and served more than 20 years in the Army Reserve. He was a military police officer and veteran of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Heavey has performed many duties in the department, including accident investigator, dispatch trainer, grant writer, civil disturbance coordinator, emergency management coordinator and police explorer adviser.

Heavey recently completed a seven-week executive development course for senior police officers at the Justice System Training and Research Institute at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

After the ceremony, his wife Kia said, "I'm happy for my husband. He's spent his whole life doing this."

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