Government Police/Fire

West Hartford Police Hold Promotion Ceremony

Sgt. Nathan Findley is pinned by his son at a promotion ceremony at Town Hall, while Chief Vernon Riddick looks on. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Police Department honored the recent promotion of two members at a ceremony at Town Hall.

From left: Town Manager Rick Ledwith, Sgt. Amanda Martin, Assistant Chief Rob Riccobon, Mayor Shari Cantor, Sgt. Nathan Findley, Chief Vernon Riddick. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

Family, friends, and colleagues packed Council Chambers on Feb. 16 as the West Hartford Police Department held a ceremony for the promotion of two members.

Nathan Findley has been promoted to the rank of sergeant, and Anthony Miele has been promoted to the rank of lieutenant.

Mayor Shari Cantor said she is “in awe of this department and the work that you do every day, your professionalism, your heart, your support for each other, your honesty, your courage, and I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all that you do every day to keep every single person that either is living in West Hartford or driving through West Hartford safe.”

“This ceremony gives us an opportunity to honor all of the members of our police department,” said Town Manager Rick Ledwith, not just those who are being promoted. “Public safety is really the foundation of all the core services we provide in our community. Our residents have come to rely on each of you because you are there when we need you the most, and we admire the dedication and commitment to excellence that defines our police department.”

When an officer was essentially attacked by someone during a call the previous weekend, it clearly demonstrated that he had been trained to use restraint and had the skills needed to de-escalate the situation, keeping himself and others safe, Ledwith said. He thanked the next generation of leaders of the town’s police department.

Town Manager Rick Ledwith speaks at the Police Promotion Ceremony. At right is Sgt. Amanda Martin. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chief Vernon Riddick noted the tremendous responsibility of taking on a new role. He said his own father said to be a leader, you shouldn’t worry about being “light.”

“At some point you’re going to have to make decisions, or have a vision, or there are things that you’re doing that the masses aren’t going to agree with or understand. You have to stand on principle because at the end of the day it’s the right thing to do – whatever that ‘it’ is,” Riddick said.

“Do what’s right,” he said, urging them to address any errors or mistakes they see. “If we can nip things in the bud at the bottom of the pyramid, we don’t have to worry about it reaching this level here where we have limited options for discretion.”

Chief Vernon Riddick speaks at the Police Promotion Ceremony. At right is Sgt. Amanda Martin. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

“Take care of your people, even if they don’t understand what you’re doing or why you’re doing things,” Riddick said. That may involve a correction, but more often it’s a pat on the back.

Assistant Chief Rob Riccobon noted that Miele has been a member of the West Hartford Police Department since 2012, following in the footsteps of his father, uncle, and other relatives. He has served in various capacities and received awards and accolades, including being named Police Officer of the Year.

Findley, a former member of the United States Marine Corps, and after an honorable discharge and graduating from college he traveled the world working on cruise ships. He joined the West Hartford Police Department in 2016, and has worked in the Patrol Division and as a Field Training Officer, and is part of the Honor Guard and a regional dive team.

Mayor Shari Cantor administered the oath of office to both who were promoted, and they were pinned by members of their families.

Sgt. Nathan Findley is given the oath of office by Mayor Shari Cantor. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Sgt. Amanda Martin served as emcee for the event. Pastor Dana Lee Hallenbeck, a former member of the West Hartford Police Department and former director of Public Works, gave the invocation.

Assistant Chief Rob Riccobon speaks at the Police Promotion Ceremony at Town Hall. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Family, friends, department members, and other town staff attend a West Hartford Police Department Promotion Ceremony at Town Hall. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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