Wallingford police promote 5 officers in ceremony

WALLINGFORD — The Police Department recently held a ceremony celebrating the promotion of five officers. 

Lt. Michael Colavolpe was promoted to captain, Sergeants William Merriam and Shelly Cafasso to lieutenant and Officers Owen Davidson and Henry Cadette were promoted to sergeant during the event at the police station on Thursday. 

“In my more than 25 years here, I cannot recall when we have had the opportunity to make five promotions at the same time,” Police Chief William Wright said to more than 50 people who attended.

The ceremony featured officers getting their new badges pinned upon them by their children or wives; long-retired officers returning to congratulate the people they once mentored; and speeches from attending dignitaries.

Wright said he was proud of the test scores of the promoted officers and their college credentials.

Cafasso and Merriam, he said, had overall scores of 96.5 and 96.4 percent out of a possible 100, with the rest close behind.

“These are smart people capable of making good decisions,” Wright said.

The University of New Haven was always one of the state’s leading police schools, but now officers also get initial and advanced degrees from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven and Post University in Waterbury in study areas including criminal justice, crime analysis, crime victim services, police science and computer crime.

Retired police were among those who attended. Officer Roger Cone, a retired accident reconstructionist for the Wallingford Police Department, retired North Haven Police Chief Jim DeCarlo and retired North Haven Sgt. Mark Grimaldi were there because they know Wright and Colavolpe well.

Deputy Police Chief John Ventura said one of the highlights for him was seeing young officers mature with the support of their families. As a detective, Ventura did the background checks on four of the five promoted officers before they were hired.

“I know [from the background checks and work since] that they are good people,” Ventura said. 

The promoted officers all have more training awaiting. The sergeants, for example, will be taking critical incident management training at the municipal police training academy in Meriden, Ventura said.

The promotions were satisfying for Wright and likely the last he will see. Wright will retire effective July 1 to head safety operations at Choate Rosemary Hall. He has spent the last six years as police chief.

With the promotions, the police department has five unfilled entry-level positions,

nsambides@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @JrSambides

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