Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office Celebrates Community Policing Awards
New Haven – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut hosted a Community Policing Awards Ceremony this afternoon that recognized 29 law enforcement officers and community members from cities and towns across the state.
“Our honorees represent the very best in community policing,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly. “In innovative and practical ways, they have reached out to make meaningful connections with people living in our communities. We thank them for their commitment to building public trust and strengthening relationships between the police and the communities they serve. The importance of this work can never be overstated. If the public does not have confidence in the police, they may well not report crimes, cooperate in criminal investigations or support our justice system. We applaud them and we thank them for their dedicated and invaluable service. They have made lasting and purposeful contributions to ensuring that Connecticut is a safer and more secure place to live.”
Bristol Police Department
Officer James Pelletier
Pastor Patricia Washington-Rice
2nd Vice President, NAACP, Morris Patton
We are all well aware of events that have taken place across our nation that have strained relations between the community and the police. In Bristol, the Bristol Police Department took proactive measures to ensure its community that the police department was committed to working together to strengthen relationships. This was a team effort and many great relationships were developed. Three stars on this team certainly went above and beyond: Pastor Patricia Washington-Rice, Morris “Rippy” Patton and Bristol Police Officer James Pelletier.
Pastor Rice sits on the Executive Board of the Bristol NAACP and is Pastor of the Beulah AME Zion Church in Bristol. Pastor Rice took the lead on improving relations between the community and the police by opening her church to the public on several occasions. Members of the Bristol Police Department, Bristol NAACP and other community members held several forums at the Church to exchange thoughts, ideas, etc., all with the intent of strengthening our bond.
Mr. Patton, who insists on going by the name of “Rippy,” is 2nd Vice President of the Bristol NAACP. It was Rippy’s idea to hold a softball tournament to promote local unity. Our first tournament was held on September 17, 2016, and the second, this past September. The teams consisted of Bristol Police Officers, Bristol Firefighters, Bristol EMS, Bristol Teachers and individuals from our community. The tournament, titled “WE ARE ONE,” consisted of several teams in which the team members were randomly selected. The goal was to have representatives from each of the above groups play together as teammates. Rippy wanted to demonstrate that there was no “us vs. them” and that we all could come together as one and have a great time.
Officer Pelletier has been a member of the Bristol Police Department for over nine years and utilizes his free time volunteering to sit on several local committees. He chooses to take on leadership roles so that he can be more involved and influential. Officer Pelletier has been at the table when meeting with our local community leaders such as the Bristol NAACP and he worked very closely with Rippy Patton in coordinating the WE ARE ONE softball tournaments. This past year, Officer Pelletier was asked to become more involved in raising funds for the Connecticut Special Olympics. Typically, the Bristol Police Department would raise about $5,000 -$6,000 a year for the Special Olympics. Officer Pelletier hit the ground running and his extraordinary efforts have resulted in the Bristol Police Department raising in excess of $20,000 to date, for the Connecticut Special Olympics.
These three have helped make Bristol a better place to live!
Clinton Police Department
Sergeant Jeremiah Dunn
Sergeant Dunn is currently assigned to the Patrol Division as an evening shift supervisor and is also assigned as the Department’s Public Information Officer. Additionally, Sergeant Dunn acts as the President of the Clinton Police Benevolent Association. He is truly an example of community policing spirit. Annually, Sergeant Dunn runs Clinton’s Citizen’s Police Academy, a program that runs for 10 weeks each year and provides citizens of Clinton with an in-depth look at the many facets of modern policing. He has run the academy for groups of 25 to 30 Clinton residents per year and has received rave reviews for the past 21 years. Sergeant Dunn also organizes the department’s fundraising events, coordinates the annual participation in the Connecticut Special Olympics, and spearheads the Department’s annual toy drive every Christmas season.
Sergeant Dunn is always looking for ways to help others in need and often encourages other officers in the Department to do the same. A perfect example of this was when a 10-year-old boy announced at a community meeting that his birthday was the next day but later noted that he was not expecting any presents because his family could not afford them. That night Sergeant Dunn, with Officer Adrian Santiago, appeared at the child’s house with a new bicycle, a skateboard, a toy badge, and DARE bracelet so that the child would have gifts to open the next day. On that next day, the Clinton Police Department brought the child a cake and sang happy birthday to him. This truly represents who Sergeant Dunn is as a person. He continues to build strong relationships with the community he serves and the public at large with his compassion and caring, particularly for those with special needs or those in difficult situations.
Connecticut Police Chiefs Association
Chief Vernon Riddick
Chief John Gavallas
Chief Douglas Fuchs
While generally these nominations include the patrol ranks, these three police chiefs have fought hard to develop and implement the Breaking Barriers Program in an effort to foster improved communications between law enforcement and motorists during a traffic stop.
The program has been developed in partnership with multiple community leaders, members of the public, and public relations professionals to ensure that any curriculum developed and message communicated would be one which was inclusive, tested, and a collaboration between the police and the communities whom they serve.
Breaking Barriers is aimed at improving interactions between the police and the public during traffic stops, with the ultimate goal of making everyone safer during this police encounter. Police in Connecticut conduct in excess of 700,000 motor vehicle stops each year – it is by far the most likely encounter the public might have with the police. Working with civil rights organizations and youth from across Connecticut, a slogan and artwork (or branding) was developed to begin to collaboratively develop the curriculum for this program.
By working with Driver’s Education and community based programs, police officers across Connecticut have become a part of the learning process for new drivers – teaching what to expect during a traffic stop and how police and the public can work together to ensure that all motor vehicle stops are as safe and comfortable for all involved as is possible. While a particular traffic stop might be their fifth of the day – it might be the first time that a motorist has ever been pulled over. Educating motorists that although traffic stops are something police officers do with great frequency, they can also be an extremely dangerous task – reminding all that one might be the most congenial of people – never have committed a violation of law – and have been stopped for a minor traffic offense – but the police officer has no way of knowing that when approaching your vehicle. It is about mutual respect and understanding.
Connecticut State Police
Detective Michael Mudry
Training Coordinator Wayne Kowal
Director, Griswold Pride, Miranda Nagle
The Bureau of Special Investigation recently implemented a new community oriented police outreach program named “CRISIS,” standing for Connection to Recovery through Intervention, Support & Initiating Services. The geographic focal point of the pilot initiative was and is Griswold due to the high number of NARCAN deployments and attendant lives saved, all associated with the ongoing opioid epidemic being experienced in the State of Connecticut.
In its broadest sense, the CRISIS Initiative is a partnership between the Connecticut State Police, the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), Southeastern Mental Health Authority, Griswold PRIDE, the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR), the Connecticut Alliance to Benefit Law Enforcement (CABLE), other non-profit organizations, and the community at large. The benefit to this initiative is to provide the community with a healthier quality of life, to enhance the community’s relationship and trust with law enforcement, and ultimately, to provide a fast track into recovery services. Through collaboration with the above-mentioned organizations, a “bridge was built” to provide healthier outcomes for individuals and families struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
Our partnership with DMHAS has allowed for a full-time Licensed Clinical Social Worker that is available to conduct immediate assessments and assist people in need of addiction and/or mental health services to be tasked to this program. In addition, a formal referral system was developed, utilized by State Troopers and Dispatchers that provide individuals in need a direct avenue into the DMHAS system.
This initiative would not have come to fruition if not for the determination, perseverance, and tireless efforts of Detective Michael Mudry, Training Coordinator Wayne Kowal, and Director Miranda Nagle to collaborate and build relationships with community leaders such as the Griswold First Selectman, DMHAS, CCAR, Troop “E” personnel, and most importantly, the residents within the community of Griswold. All were instrumental in the development of the policy and procedures of the CRISIS Initiative. Their commitment and dedication is in the highest tradition of the Connecticut State Police.
East Hartford Police Department
Officer Ted Branon
Recognizing the paramount need to improve community/police relations everywhere, the East Hartford Police Department appealed to the Town Council for approval of a full-time Community Service Officer. Upon Council approval, veteran Officer Ted Branon was selected from a number of internal applicants and went to work in this new position one year ago.
During the last year, Officer Branon has rewritten the manual on Community Policing and set the standard for successful relations between police departments and the communities they serve. He has been involved in organizing successful Coffee With A Cop events and the Department's first-ever participation in National Night Out; conducting Neighborhood Block Watch meetings; coordinating Convenience Store and Unlicensed Repair Shop compliance checks; hosting youth, elderly, and school safety seminars; participating in stuff-a-cruiser events and toy drives, as well as assisting with food-share and clothing donations for those less fortunate; and even organizing regular “roundtable” meetings bringing clergy from every religious organization in Town together at once to discuss and share community affairs, all while augmenting patrol enforcement of Town Ordinances designed to regulate blight and improve neighborhood quality of life.
Also, this past summer, Officer Branon created a weekly Youth Basketball Program designed to build relationships between East Hartford youth, Police Officers, and the community through positive engagement and to provide a structured environment for the youth to learn, develop, and improve their basketball skills. The instructor staff, made up of East Hartford Police Officers, focused on individual and team fundamental skills, while emphasizing the importance of teamwork, respect, attention to detail, effective communication, and knowledge of the game - with the overall goal of having fun and getting to know a police officer in town. The program was a tremendous success and will return next summer.
Whether in a group setting or one-on-one, Officer Branon's efforts toward combining aspects of traditional law enforcement while incorporating crime prevention and problem solving through community engagements and partnerships have forged a necessary bond among residents of the community and the Department. Communication between citizens and police has improved, fear of crime has been reduced and mutual trust and understanding has been enhanced. In just one short year, Officer Branon has led the mission to help the East Hartford Police Department and the community they serve unite as partners with measurable success.
East Haven Police Department
Lieutenant David Emerman
Lieutenant Emerman has been an integral member of the East Haven Police Department since 2004 and has been instrumental in helping reform the Department into a community-driven law enforcement agency that is nationally recognized as change leaders in 21st Century Policing. Lieutenant Emerman is bilingual, in English and Spanish, and serves as the Language Access Coordinator and Community Liaison Officer for the Department. In this capacity, he has forged strong relationships within the community, with community stakeholders, as well as the Ecuadorian Consulate. He is well respected and possesses all the qualities necessary to engage and improve relations between police and the community they serve.
In June 2016, Lieutenant Emerman was appointed as the Compliance Coordinator to the U.S. Department of Justice Settlement Agreement for the Town of East Haven. He is responsible for ensuring compliance with our settlement agreement as well as all communications and coordination between the Department and the U.S. Department of Justice.
Greenwich Police Department
Community Impact Section Sergeant John Thorme
Community Impact Officer Keith Hirsch
Community Impact Officer Daniel Paladino
Over the past few years, Greenwich Police Department Community Impact Section Sergeant John Thorme, Community Impact Officer Keith Hirsch, and Community Impact Officer Daniel Paladino have successfully conducted the following community programs that have strengthened community relations between the Police Department and the citizens of the community.
They have coordinated Spring and Fall 7-week Citizen’s Police Academy (CPA) programs (In 2016 a department record of 93 people graduated from the CPA); a one-week Spring Youth Citizen’s Police Academy (Police Explorer Camp for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade students through the Boy Scouts) consisting of approximately 45 participants; and Spring and Fall 6-week Women’s Self Defense classes, along with a Spring High School Girls’ Self Defense class. They are also responsible for the Citizen’s Emergency Response Team (CERT), conduct neighborhood Community and Police Partnership (CAPP) groups throughout the community, and have created several “Coffee with a Cop” mornings in local establishments, as well as assisted with “Thank a Cop Day” at a local restaurant. They have successfully implemented the Drug Drop-off and Disposal Program. They investigate property crime victim follow-ups, including security assessments of resident's homes and businesses. These officers implemented a Town of Greenwich Employee Response to Active Shooter Program. They also oversee a Boy Scout Police Explorer program that runs a very active Law Enforcement Career interest Explorer Post.
Through their tireless efforts, a strong bond has been created with Greenwich Police Department and the community.
City of Groton Police Department
Officer Patricia Lieteau
Officer Lieteau is a veteran officer not only of this agency, but in a previous career retiring as a New London Police Sergeant. Where many would retire and do far less, Officer Lieteau draws on her experience and her ability seeking to always do more. She embodies the spirit and commitment of the community policing model in her daily comportment and interaction with the public, and casts a strong presence in the City of Groton. She is often sought by our community stakeholders as a mediator, confidant and a trusted voice of reason. A product of New London High School and always active in her community locally, her opinion is often sought regionally.
Officer Lieteau, by her integrity, ability and caring, has the unique ability to engage all our community’s diverse demographics in her always professional and effective manner. Her recent work in the City of Groton with a Police Cadet initiative has been exemplary. Working off duty and on her own time, she has worked with local youth and engaged them. She has presented this agency to this group of local youth as caring and devoted to this community, she has built strong bridges to our local youth involved here and ensured trust and ultimately respect is produced. The effect she has had is palpable and she has filled a void with structure, positive encouragement and caring. She is truly beloved by these cadets. She even at her own expense purchased radios for the group and had them assigned where they served with distinction recently addressing parking at the heavily attended City of Groton Day event. Her day to day efforts are deeply respected and appreciated, she always makes a difference. Her efforts to develop and create a Groton City Police Cadet Program are in the highest traditions of not only the City of Groton Police Department but of the concept of community service, community engagement and community policing.
New Canaan Police Department
Officer Jeffrey Deak
Officer Jeffery Deak has been a member of the New Canaan Police Department since 1995. He serves the School Resource Officers at our Middle School and is one of our firearms instructors. He is a great example of how effective one officer can be in a community while interacting with its youth.
Officer Deak has developed tremendous ties and relationships with students and staff. He makes safety presentations, interacts daily with students in the schools, and is a 24/7 resource for New Canaan’s youth and families.
In addition to his school based interactions, Officer Deak has selflessly volunteered his time for many years at police sponsored functions and events such as visiting sick children as Santa Clause at local hospitals and at the department’s Children’s Christmas party. Officer Deak is an exemplary Police Officer and the New Canaan Police Department is proud to have him among the rank and file.
New Haven Police Department
Lieutenant Karl Jacobson
Lieutenant Maneet Colon
On October 4, 2017, the New Haven Police Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office partnered together for the 2nd Annual Cops & Ballers, 3 on 3 basketball tournament with members of the community. Last year it was part of National Community Policing Week and due to the overwhelming response, it was repeated again this year. The local police were provided an opportunity to engage with residents in a way that broke traditional forms of dialogue in favor of competitive fun on the courts. It was the latest attempt at community outreach from a law enforcement community eager to build both familiarity and trust among the population it serves.
To organize the troops from the police department and the community was no easy feat, but the task was undertaken by Lieutenant Maneet Colon, the Westville/West Hills District Manager and Lieutenant Karl Jacobson, the Officer in Charge of the Criminal Intelligence Unit. Both stepped up to take responsibility of forming teams, ordering t-shirts, seeking out a referee and equipment, as well as preparing the Goffe Street Park for some serious half-court tournament competition. There are many fine details that go into a large event comprised of multiple teams, playing on the courts, but the games went off smoothly and a good time was had by all. Lt. Jacobson even participated in some of the games, while Lt. Colon kept score and encouraged the players.
Norwich Police Department
Lieutenant John Perry
Lieutenant John Perry is a 15-year member of the Norwich Police Department and has led the Norwich Police Community Policing Unit since 2016. In the area of community relations Lt. Perry’s actions were truly exceptional. Lt. Perry would work hand-in-hand with community and faith based organizations to jointly sponsor community forums and events that were all highly successful. Lt. Perry became the “face” of the Norwich Police Department and there was not one community event that did not have NPD CPU involvement.
Lt. Perry also partnered with Norwich Mayor Hinchey to do business visits with the Norwich businesses. These visits allowed Lt. Perry to act as an ambassador for the Norwich Police Department while learning the needs and challenges Norwich businesses face. Lt. Perry was able, using community policing problem solving skills, to address and, in most cases, solve the issues making Norwich an attractive community to do business in.
In May 2017, Lt. Perry was recognized by the Norwich Branch NAACP for his efforts and was awarded the Robertsine Duncan Youth Council Community Service Award. Lt. Perry is also very active as a volunteer in the Norwich community where he resides. Lt. Perry serves as a volunteer basketball and soccer coach for the Norwich PAL.
Torrington Police Department
Chief Michael Maniago
Deputy Chief Chris Smedick
Officer Antony Pietrafesa
Officer Robert Simon
The Torrington Police Department Community Policing philosophy is based upon a partnership between the police and the community whereby we share responsibility for identifying, reducing, eliminating and preventing problems that impact community safety. By working together, the police and the community can reduce the fear and incidence of crime and improve the quality of life in neighborhoods citywide.
Our Community Policing Officers recently opened a Downtown Police Outreach Center where they offer educational opportunities for school children, seniors, and local corporations. From this location, they also respond to the needs of our Downtown Business District. Active shooter training for schools and businesses, stay safe presentations, block watch meetings, DARE, Park, Walk and Talk Patrols represent a fraction of their activities. Torrington’s Community Policing Officers play active roles in organizing and participating in local efforts to reduce homelessness, plan and hold food drives and toy drives, just to name a few.
The Torrington Police Department holds to the philosophy of “the most effective way to reach the community is through collaboration with our local partners.” Some of these partners include the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, the Parks and Recreation department, our local Soup Kitchen, and the Latina Woman's Association. Their officers have expanded their Police Activities League (PAL). They currently service close to 800 children from kindergarten to the 12th grade by sponsoring and operating sports programs, day camps, and the arts; twelve months a year.
For Community Policing to take hold in a community, the work must be a department wide philosophy, from the Chief all the way down to the newest officer or civilian clerk.
Trumbull Police Department
Officer Timothy Fedor
Officer Timothy Fedor has distinguished himself through exemplary contributions to community policing and improving the relationship between police and the community.
Officer Timothy Fedor has been a member of the Trumbull Police Department since 2001. During his tenure as a Trumbull police officer he has been a School Resource Officer and currently serves as our Training Officer. As the sole Training Officer for the Department of 81 sworn police officers, Officer Fedor is responsible for all recruit officers and their certifications and the constant recertification of the entire Department.
Most importantly, Officer Fedor still contributes to the community more than any other officer of this Department. He trains residents in medical procedures when they become volunteers at the EMS center. He is and has been an integral part of the Trumbull Partnership Against Under Age Drinking, TPAUD, since its inception, more than 11 years ago. He works with its members to train our officers in "Party Patrol" techniques and in the usage of Narcan as First Responders. Officer Fedor has also participated in public training of Narcan deployment to residents through the TPAUD organization.
Officer Fedor coordinates Coffee with a Cop events in Trumbull, which have become important to our agency to meet residents and their children in local coffee shops. It is a “no agenda” listening and getting to know one another outside the role of a police officer.
Officer Fedor is the Advisor of our Department's Police Cadet Program. The Cadet program involves local students from ages 14 through 22 that have an interest in law enforcement. Officer Fedor meets weekly with the Cadets and instructs them in law enforcement practices. The Cadets, through Officer Fedor, sponsor a Toys for Tots donation drive during the Christmas Season; the annual Freshman Forum at the Trumbull High School; Shop a Mile in Her Shoes, an event held annually at the Trumbull Mall to raise awareness of domestic violence; the annual Domestic Violence Vigil held in Trumbull; the 9/11 ride through Trumbull held each year, and the two-day Fall Festival event.
Officer Fedor is the epitome of what a community police officer is. He is always willing to take on more duties and responsibilities and is professional in all of his interactions with residents and community members. Officer Fedor has without question single-handedly raised the bar of community policing. He has made Trumbull a safer and better place to live and raise a family.
University of Connecticut Police Department
Lieutenant Jason Hyland
Lieutenant Jason Hyland has served in law enforcement for 20 years and has been part of the UConn Police Department for 17 years. He is described by his supervisors as a proactive and innovative person who is genuinely interested in helping the community. Lieutenant Hyland was assigned to the Community Outreach Unit in 2015 and has taken the initiative to enhance the relationship between police and the UConn community with new and innovative programming.
Using student focus groups, he has developed successful safety campaigns branded under Bright Futures. Bright Futures campaigns are geared toward engaging UCPD officers with the community while working hand-in-hand to identify public safety concerns, provide education, and host community events. The campaign’s goal is to realize practical and effective solutions to the issues facing our neighborhoods. One of the most notable campaigns is Bright Future: Alcohol or Other Drug Safety. Since the release of this campaign in 2016, there have been hundreds of presentations and events for students.
Lieutenant Hyland also has a special interest in promoting understanding of mental health issues and people with developmental disabilities and was instrumental in the creation of the UConn Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Program. CIT is a nationwide, innovative model community initiative and has been implemented at UConn with all the officers. Lieutenant Hyland’s dedication and love for the UConn Community has brought the UConn Police Department’s community relations from good and positive to outstanding.
Lieutenant Hyland has received many awards from the Department as well as our community for his efforts. Most recently, Lieutenant Hyland received the Gerald N. Weller Award from the UConn Division of Student Affairs. The Weller Award recognizes individuals in the UConn Community, beyond the Division of Student Affairs, who serve students and support the efforts of the Division in the true spirit exemplified by Gerald Weller.
West Hartford Police Department
Officer Dante Ursini
Officer Ursini has been a police officer for 10 years and a School Resource Officer in the Community Relations Division for the past 2 years. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Social Work.
Officer Ursini is a pleasure to work with and we have frequently fielded compliments and accolades for the exceptional way he has handled calls, especially those involving children with special needs. Officer Ursini has worked, for many years now, with a student whose family has many legal, financial and mental challenges. Officer Ursini has met with the child on a regular basis, has incorporated other resources, and has worked with the school system in an effort to show this child that there are people who care for him. Officer Ursini sees the promise this child holds and continues to provide full support to the family. This is but one instance of the many “above and beyond” cases he works on in our schools.
In 2017, Officer Ursini developed a “Care Card” program while working with the Board of Education. The Care Card identification program issues cards to residents for a variety of purposes, including – but not limited to – those with cognitive impairments, specifically special needs students and the elderly. Those with special needs may not have the ability to recall personal information, or may not be able to obtain another form of ID, and can be issued a Care Card. This photo ID card is linked to the police database and is completely customizable based on the patient’s privacy concerns. The card enables people to be quickly identified by police as having an impairment. It contains emergency contact and hospital information, also. The goal is to help officers quickly reunite these patients with their loved ones or to connect them with proper care. The program has gained positive media attention and is very popular with senior citizens centers, convalescent homes and has been shared with local Autism centers.
Officer Ursini regularly presents to a variety of groups on a host of topics including teen driving, internet safety, drug awareness, law enforcement & the elderly – to name only a few.
Officer Ursini works tirelessly in order to keep West Hartford residents safe.
Westport Police Department
Officer Ned Batlin
Officer Batlin has continuously worked to improve the relationship between the police and the community over his 16-year career.
Officer Batlin is a member of the Westport Youth Commission, which is a panel of students and adults from the community that report directly to our first selectman. He was instrumental in creating this Commission, and has worked with this group for years. They have created multiple events to bring cops and kids together in a positive environment. After the Commission’s success, Officer Batlin pioneered the Westport Police Youth Collaborative. This is a club for high school students and officers to work together on community service projects, team building and some instructional information about the job of law enforcement. This past spring he was the program coordinator for our first ever Police Youth Citizens Academy. He has also been an instrumental member of our Community Policing Panel.
Officer Batlin is the first patrol officer to be named President of the Police Athletic League in Westport. Westport P.A.L. provides multiple organized sports for boys and girls as well as host of other community based programs. Officer Batlin is also a football and lacrosse coach at the youth and high school level while balancing his law enforcement career. This has made him a valuable and trusted member of the community. He makes himself available to numerous groups annually as a guest speaker on a variety of subjects ranging from “Risky Behavior” panels, to talking with local scouting groups. He organizes guest speakers to speak with the public on a wide range of topics including domestic violence, underage drinking, and heroin addiction. Officer Batlin partnered with Staples High School’s “Teen Awareness Group and Positive Directions” to place a full time Drug Take Back Box in the Police Department lobby. He also sits on the Norwalk / Westport Juvenile Review Board and has been there since its inception.
Most importantly, Officer Batlin has forged many strong, positive relationships in the community from the programs listed here, as well as his many years on patrol.
Willimantic Police Department
Corporal Joshua Clark
Corporal Joshua Clark started his career with the Willimantic Police Department in 2007. Cpl. Clark currently serves as a supervisor on the Day Shift Patrol and serves as a member the Willimantic Police Department SWAT team. Cpl. Clark was born and raised in Willimantic and cares deeply for the Willimantic Community. During the past few years Cpl. Clark has been involved in numerous community events. Most of these events revolve around the youth of the community.
Cpl. Clark has been a key member of the Windham PRIDE (Prevention to reduce the influence of drugs for everyone) Coalition and has helped organize several week-long youth leadership academies. These academies have helped bridge a gap between the city’s youth and the Willimantic Police Department.
Cpl. Clark also administers the Windham PRIDE Facebook page highlighting not only the Police Department’s involvement in the community, but also the children’s involvement within the community. His expertise with social media has created a connection between the public and the Willimantic Police Department and has shown the public so many of the great things happening in Willimantic.
Cpl. Clark has tirelessly helped organize several Christmas toy drives that resulted in numerous truckloads of toys that were handed out to the community. He has also been involved in organizing back to school events where backpacks and sneakers were given to the children. Whether he is helping with a bicycle giveaway throughout the Willimantic Schools or Halloween safety events, Cpl. Clark is there working to help the children of the community.
When there is any type of charitable event in the city of Willimantic, Cpl. Clark is always there willing to volunteer his time. His effort does not go unnoticed. During community events, the children flock to him because of their connection to him and his outgoing personality.
Before becoming a Police officer, Cpl. Clark was in the U.S. Army and at one point served in Iraq. While in Iraq he was injured and received the Purple Heart.