Sammy Westfall

The atrium of City Hall spilled over with people — young children, friends and family members — eager to watch newly promoted New Haven Police Department detectives, sergeants and lieutenants take the stage on Thursday evening.

Eleven New Haven Police Department personnel were promoted, including two detectives, six sergeants and three lieutenants in the presence of mayor Toni Harp, Police Chief Anthony Campbell ’95 DIV ’09, Police Captain Anthony Duff and clergymen.

Detectives Lizmarie Almedina and Christian Bruckhart; Sergeants Richard Benson, Christopher Cameron, Brendan Canning, Martin Feliciano, Paul Finch and Kenneth Matthew King; and Lieutenants Sean Maher, Robert Maturo and Elliot Rosa assumed their new positions after being sworn in by Harp on Thursday.

“Today is a day that I take great joy in. There are many things as a police chief that are difficult to do. And there are days like this one when we get to rejoice,” said Campbell in his opening remarks to the gathered crowd. “We get to rejoice because these men and a woman before us have decided to step up.”

Campbell said he expects “great things” from the newly promoted officers. In his speech, the police chief touched on themes of honor, dedication and excellence, praising the new officers and their past work.

One by one, each new promotee was called up to the front of the atrium, where family members or friends pinned a new New Haven Police Department badge onto the promotee. Some promotees were badged by young children, and one was badged by his father — a retired Elm City officer. The badged promotee then saluted Campbell, shook Harp’s hand and finally saluted and embraced members of the police department’s leadership.

“I know it’s a promotion, but it’s a real emotional event, isn’t it?” said Harp.

Alesia Harris told the News that it was an honor to watch the promotion of her brother-in-law, Benson, to sergeant. She said that she was pleased with the turnout at the event, which drew over 100 people, to City Hall.

The mayor congratulated the officers for earning their new ranks, and said that they brought pride to the Elm City. She also thanked the officers on behalf of the city’s residents for their dedicated service to New Haven in the name of public safety.

“Each of you knows very well that accountability in law enforcement is the gold standard,” Harp said to the newly promoted New Haven Police Department personnel. “You showcase the talent embedded throughout this department, and you make it easy to see how and why the New Haven Police Department is a national leader in community-based policing.”

Campbell asked the newly promoted members to turn around and look at the audience — “the people you serve and are there for you” — where the officers were met with cheers and applause. And Campbell, now standing behind the promotees, had a message for the newly badged officers.

“I always want you to know this. I am behind you right now, and so is the leadership of this department, we have your back,” Campbell said.

The New Haven Police Department was founded in 1861.

Sammy Westfall | sammy.westfall@yale.edu 

Jose Devila IV | jose.devilaiv@yale.edu