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West Hartford Police Hold Swearing-In for New Officer

Dylan Ferreira is given the oath of office by Mayor Shari Cantor. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Police Department welcomed a new officer Friday at a swearing-in ceremony.

Off. Dylan Ferreira (second from left) poses with (from left) Assistant Chief Dan Coppinger, Assistant Chief Larry Terra, and Chief Vernon Riddick. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

By Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Police Department welcomed a new officer Friday afternoon at a swearing-in ceremony in the department’s training room.

COVID-19 restrictions were in place, but the celebration was able to be attended by a small group of family, friends, department members, and town officials.

Off. Dylan Ferreira was born in Hartford and grew up in Granby, graduating from Granby Memorial High School, Assistant Chief Dan Coppinger said. Ferreira has been a military police officer in the U.S. Army Reserves for the last seven years, and is currently enrolled at Southern New Hampshire University, majoring in computer science. 

The oath of office was administered by West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor.

After swearing in Off. Dylan Ferreira, Mayor Shari Cantor gives him a copy of the oath of office Photo credit: Ronni Newton

“There is deep appreciation and thanks for choosing the West Hartford Police Department,” Police Chief Vernon Riddick said to Ferreira, noting that there are many opportunities available for those entering law enforcement right now.

“I do want you know that you did make the right choice,” Riddick said.

“It’s challenging times in law enforcement. I don’t think challenging times equate to desperate times,” Riddick said. “The cream rises to the top,” he said, and if not you get skimmed off. “There’s no skimming here. We want to train you, we will support you, we provide you with the tools and anything else that you need for support we will have it here for you.”

Police Chief Vernon Riddick speaks to Off. Dylan Ferreira and his family at a swearing-in ceremony on Oct. 23. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Riddick also told Ferreira’s family to reach out to the department leadership if they see a change in his demeanor, because they are there to help.

“Heavy is the chest that bears that badge,” said Riddick. “It’s an awesome responsibility that you have. It’s a privilege. You have to earn this. Don’t tarnish it.”

Empathy, understanding, and love all need to be demonstrated, he said, and every interaction makes a difference. It’s not just about enforcement.

Lt. Eric Rocheleau (left) gives Off. Dylan Ferreira a copy of the oath and his rights card. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

In accordance with tradition, Lt. Eric Rocheleau, who heads the West Hartford Police Department’s Training Division, presented Ferreira with a copy of the oath and his rights card – which also include a copy of the oath. He asked Ferreira to understand the importance of all parts of the oath.

“The oath incorporates the police department’s mission statement,” Rocheleau said. “Within the oath it mentions providing professional police services through active cooperation within our community and now more than ever it is so important.”

Drawing on a statement originally made by Winston Churchill, Rocheleau said, “The citizens of West Hartford sleep soundly in their beds knowing that officers stand ready in the night to protect them from harm.”

Town Manager Matt Hart also welcomed Ferreira and thanked him for making this commitment. “You’re joining a team of 130-plus sworn officers and 20-plus civilians … but you’re also joining the Town of West Hartford,” Hart said. “We take service to the community extremely seriously. We demand excellence but at the same time we are here to support you.”

Ferreira will attend the police academy and once he graduates will begin the West Hartford Police Department’s 12-week Field Training Officer program under Rocheleau’s direction before assuming his first assignment.

One week earlier, the department also held a swearing-in ceremony for two other recent hires, Alexander Laureano and Matthew Zobel, both of whom were already certified officers through other law enforcement agencies.

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Assistant Chief Dan Coppinger reads Off. Dylan Ferreira’s bio at the swearing-in. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Dylan Ferreira is given the oath of office by Mayor Shari Cantor. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

From left: Assistant Chief Dan Coppinger, Town Manager Matt Hart, Mayor Shari Cantor, Off. Dylan Ferreira, Assistant Chief Larry Terra, Chief Vernon Riddick. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Chief Vernon Riddick pins Off. Dylan Ferreira. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Town Manager Matt Hart speaks at the swearing -in. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Newly sworn-in Off. Dylan Ferreira poses with his family. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

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