Naugatuck, new police chief reach agreement on contract

Naugatuck police Capt. Steven Hunt is pictured at the Naugatuck Police Department. Hunt has been hired as Naugatuck’s next police chief. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The borough and Capt. Steven Hunt have agreed to terms on a contract that officially makes Hunt Naugatuck’s next police chief.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the contract at a special meeting Thursday night. Hunt and Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess signed the contract Friday.

The agreement runs from Sunday, which is Hunt’s first day as chief, through June 30, 2022.

“Speaking for myself, the borough board and the borough of Naugatuck, we’re very excited about the hiring of Steven Hunt as our next chief,” Hess said Friday afternoon. “He has demonstrated to me that he has extreme passion for the borough of Naugatuck, and it’s my belief that he’s going to make the Naugatuck Police Department even better than it is now. We look forward to working with him in the future.”

Hunt’s base salary will be $123,000, which is subject to review each fiscal year for the life of the deal, according to the contract.

The contract also offers Hunt a high deductible health plan with an annual $2,000/$4,000 deductible, which he is fully responsible to pay. According to the agreement, Hunt will pay no premium cost share for health care this year, if he accepts the plan. His premium cost share increases to 2 percent in 2020, 4 percent in 2021 and 6 percent in 2022, the contract states.

The contract provides Hunt with term life insurance two times his annual base salary, a borough vehicle to use at all times, and a $1,300 equipment and uniform allowance each fiscal year for the duration of the deal.

The contract also requires Hunt to live within an 8-mile radius of the Naugatuck Police Department.

Hess described the contract as a fair deal that is comparatively similar to other police chief contracts in the area.

Hunt echoed Hess’ sentiments.

“I think it’s a fair deal for both me and the town,” Hunt said.

Hunt, a 45-year-old Naugatuck native, will replace Police Chief Christopher Edson, who has served as chief since 2007. Edson is retiring from the department. His last day as chief is Saturday.

Hunt has worked as a police officer for 24 years, the first six in Waterbury and the rest in Naugatuck. He was promoted to captain in 2014.

The Hunt name is a familiar one around the Naugatuck Police Department. His father, Thomas Hunt, served as an officer for 45 years and retired from the Naugatuck Police Department as deputy chief in 2010. Hunt’s brother, Ronald Hunt, retired from the department about two years ago with the rank of detective lieutenant.

Hunt lives in Naugatuck with his wife Johnna Hunt, who is the principal of Hillside Intermediate School, and their three daughters: Taylor, Jordyn and Sydney.

A swearing-in ceremony for Hunt is planned for March 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Naugatuck High School auditorium.

With just one more day before Hunt can officially be called chief, the longtime police officer said he feels very fortunate to have been chosen to lead the department, adding the Police Commission had a difficult decision to make among the candidates for the position.

“I look forward to getting started and really working with the community, elected officials and my fellow officers to make Naugatuck the best community that it can be,” Hunt said.