Naugatuck police swear in new lieutenant

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Naugatuck police officer Ronald Hunt, left, is promoted to lieutenant by Mayor Robert Mezzo during ceremony Jan. 2 at in Town Hall. –CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — Two days into the new year Ronald Hunt was sworn into his new role at the Naugatuck Police Department — lieutenant.

Hunt, 44 of Naugatuck, is a 17-year veteran of the police department. His promotion from detective sergeant in the detective bureau to lieutenant was made official during a swearing in ceremony Jan. 2 in Town Hall. He is now the shift commander for the department’s third shift.

Hunt filled the lieutenant position vacated when Lt. Robert Harrison retired at the end of last year. Harrison served as a police officer for more than 30 years, including 22 years in Naugatuck during which he climbed the ranks from patrolman to administrative lieutenant.

Naugatuck police spokesman Lt. Bryan Cammarata said Harrison’s retirement marked the last police officer to retire under an early retirement program approved in late 2011.

The borough and police union approved the program for high ranking officers as part of negotiations that also changed the police pension plan to a defined contribution plan for new hires.

Under the agreement, up to eight officers could take the early retirement. Cammarata said a total of 10 positions have been vacated in the last year and half in the department. He described the past year and a half as an exciting time in the department as officers have been promoted to fill the higher ranking positions.

The retirements and promotions have led to openings within the department. Over the past year, the borough has hired a few new officers. The department is currently looking to hire a couple more entry-level officers, Cammarata said, and is seeking applicants.

“We’re trying to get as many people to apply as we can,” Cammarata said.

The department is accepting applications through Jan. 31. Applications are not available at the department or town offices. All applications must be completed online at www.policeapp.com/naugatuck.