Naugatuck’s new police chief aims to bolster ties with borough residents

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Colin McAllister, Naugatuck’s new police chief. Archive

By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — Newly appointed Police Chief Colin McAllister said he will look to strengthen the department and develop its relationship with the community.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses unanimously approved McAllister’s employment agreement Tuesday after the Police Commission unanimously approved to appoint the former deputy police chief to the top position at its March meeting.

“I’m humbled by the borough’s decision to appoint me as chief of police and hold this position in the highest regard, and will show up for my officers and our community,” McAllister said.

McAllister, 37, a Woodbury native who resides in the borough, said he realizes it is a challenging time for law enforcement.

“I recognize that our officers have risen to every challenge that they have faced, and as their chief I look forward to continuing to foster and promote the culture of a progressive law enforcement agency,” he said.

McAllister earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from Boston University, his master’s in criminal justice leadership from Northeastern University and a master’s in public administration from Post University. He graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, and Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute of Police.

McAllister, who is in his 17th year as a police officer, began his career with Southbury Police Department. He has served many roles with borough police, including field training, bicycle patrol, traffic crash reconstruction, sergeant, lieutenant, commander of Naugatuck Valley Collision Investigation Team and deputy chief.

McAllister said his short-term goal is to advance engagement and discussions with the community.

“I look to continue and build on community outreach efforts and increase dialogue from all members of the community,” he said.

As for ambitions down the road for police, McAllister said the department continues to embrace technology, and implement laws and measures as a result of recent police reform legislation.

“Ultimately, I look to build the community’s trust in their police department through these efforts,” McAllister said. “Examples can include adding a co-response social worker, in-car video cameras, engaging through social media, and forums on fresh ideas to improve the quality of service.”

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said borough officials already have been working with McAllister as interim police chief for some time and he’s done extremely well.

“It was basically continuing what was already in place because it was working so well,” Hess said. “Everyone is rowing with him. We have a very strong management team and we’re just eager to move forward.”

McAllister’s contract was expected to be signed this week. The four-year pact runs from the present time until June 30, 2026, with a base salary of $134,000, Hess said.

He said opening the position externally wasn’t necessary.

“The police commission determined that staying internal was the way to go,” Hess said. “We discussed the change of command going forward. Everyone unanimously wanted Colin so he was the one considered.”

The role of public information officer also has switched from McAllister to officer Danielle Durette.