Government Police/Fire

West Hartford Police Department Welcomes Three New Officers

West Hartford Police Department welcomes three new officers on May 9, 2023. From left: Assistant Chief Larry Terra, Ofc. Justice Földön Wells, Ofc. Evan Barbara, Ofc. Christian Montesdeoca, Sgt. Amanda Martin, Chief Vernon Riddick. Courtesy photo.

The West Hartford police department held a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday afternoon to welcome their three newest officers. 

Chief Vernon Riddick (right) administers the oath of office to Ofc. Justice Földön Wells, Ofc. Evan Barbara, Ofc. Christian Montesdeoca on May 9, 2023. Courtesy photo

By Bridget Bronsdon

The Town of West Hartford gained three new officers this past Tuesday at the swearing-in ceremony. Chief Vernon Riddick and various other members of the community were present for the ceremony held at the police department. 

Evan Barbara, Christian Montesdeoca, and Justice Földön Wells are West Hartford’s newest officers.  

Barbara, a Weymouth, MA native and graduate of Weymouth High School in 2019, is just days away from receiving his bachelor’s degree. He will be graduating on May 13 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice and fire investigation from the University of New Haven.  

Alongside his academics, Barbara already has some experience under his belt. He completed an internship with the Fairfield Police Department in 2022, during which he made the decision to pursue a career in municipal law enforcement.

Barbara’s colleague, Montesdeoca, is another strong addition to the force. The newest officer, born and raised in Connecticut, attended Henry Abbott Technical High School in Danbury. During his time in high school, Montesdeoca began a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) apprenticeship with Mitchell Oil. He went on to obtain his HVAC license in 2019 and has since been working with the company until pursuing his career with the West Hartford Police Department. 

On top of his other accomplishments, Montesdeoca enlisted in the CT Army National Guard in 2020 and is currently working with the engineering unit. 

Wells, born in Irving, TX, grew up in South Windsor, graduated from South Windsor High School in 2017, and went on to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. Wells served for four years during which he was deployed to Kuwait. Following his time in Kuwait, Wells served in Iraq where he received the Operation Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal and other awards. 

After his time in the Marine Corps, Wells decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career as a police officer, a lifelong dream of his. 

West Hartford Police Department Honor Guard at swearing-in on May 9, 2023. Courtesy photo



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Bridget Bronsdon

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