Government Police/Fire

Two New Officers Join West Hartford Police Department

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor (left) swears in new officers Andrew Freitas and Kristina Miner. Courtesy photo

Two new West Hartford Police officers were sworn in by Mayor Shari Cantor on Thursday evening at Town Hall.

From left: West Hartford Police Chief Vernon Riddick, Off. Andrew Freitas, Off. Kristina Miner, Lt. Eric Rocheleau. Courtesy photo

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Police Chief Vernon Riddick presided over a swearing-in ceremony on March 14 at Town Hall, welcoming two new officers to the department.

With family, friends, and other officers in the audience, Andrew Freitas and Kristina Miner were given the oath of office by West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor.

Lt. Eric Rocheleau, who heads the West Hartford Police Department’s Training Division, said that the new recruits will enter the Hartford Police Academy on March 25, and are expected to graduate in late September. Rigorous training at the academy will include nearly 1,000 hours of instruction focused on legal studies, search and seizure, handgun and rifle qualifications, physical fitness, defensive driving skills, and other topics.

Freitas and Miner will be joined at the academy by Off. Robert Bona, who was sworn in last December but unable to attend the previous academy session.

When the three graduate, they will be assigned to another officer for the department’s 12-week field training instruction.

“This ensures that they know the town and its character well, in order to deliver the quality police services,” said Rocheleau.

Freitas grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, and attended Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School where he was a multi-sport athlete in football, basketball, and track and field.

He is in the process of competing his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Bridgewater State University, where he is currently on the dean’s list. He has been a special police officer for the Oak Bluffs Police Department on Martha’s Vineyard, and a dispatcher for the Raynham Police Department in Raynham, MA.

Miner obtained a bachelor’s degree in human rights/international law and a master’s in economics from Trinity College in Hartford. She was a collegiate athlete, competing in cross country and as a middle- and long-distance runner for the indoor and outdoor track and field teams at Trinity.

Since 2015 Miner has completed about 10 marathons, and her successes include a top-10 finish in the Montreal International Marathon in 2018, and first place female finisher of the Two Rivers Marathon (PA) in 2018.

Miner most recently worked in the insurance industry for Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company, but is no stranger to a career in emergency response. Her brother is a police officer in Suffield, CT, and her father is a longtime Suffield firefighter.

“Our hiring process from start to finish provides us with a great foundation of officers to train,” Rocheleau said. “We certainly are appreciative of the town leadership support us as we ramp up our hiring to get up to full staff.”

Rocheleau said that West Hartford is a great town in which to live and work, and there are still a few openings for qualified candidates. Information is available on the town’s website.

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