Government Police/Fire

West Hartford Police Honor New Detective, Retirement of Officer

Off. Tom Nagle (left) has retired and Det. Leigh Cogle has been promoted. Both were honored by West Hartford Police on Friday. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The West Hartford Police Department held a ceremony Friday morning honoring promotions and retirements.

By Ronni Newton

Acting Police Chief Daniel Coppinger presided over a ceremony Friday morning at West Hartford Police Headquarters, honoring a promotion and a retirement, and recognizing two department members who have transferred to new divisions.

Det. Leigh Cogle is pinned by her mother, Judi. At right is Acting Chief Daniel Coppinger. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Leigh Cogle has been promoted to detective, and assigned to the Detective Division effective Sunday, Feb. 18. Her mother, Judi, pinned her with her new badge Friday morning in front of a crowd of family, friends, and department members.

Cogle, a former military police sergeant in the U.S. Army, joined the West Hartford Police Department in 1998. She has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in education, both from Central Connecticut State University, and has served in the Patrol, Traffic, and Community Relations divisions, and as a court officer, during her tenure with the department.

Coppinger provided highlights of Cogle’s extensive resume of honors and awards, which included a Commendation Letter in 2002 for working with another officer to gain control of a homicide suspect who was ramming his head against the wall of his holding cell; a Unit Citation for playing an instrumental role in apprehending the suspect in a fatal stabbing in 2011, in the midst of the town’s crippling power outage; and the United States Attorney’s Award which she received in 2013 for her work in managing the 25 witnesses involved in “Felony Lane,” a multi-state identity theft and bank fraud scheme.

Cogle is a member of the West Hartford Police Department Honor Guard and has been a coordinator and instructor for “Behind the Badge” Citizen’s Police Academy and College Academy, and served as an advisor to the Police Explorers. She is a certified Lock-Up, Arrest & Control, and Ground Fighting instructor, Coppinger said.

In dozens of letters that Cogle has received from academy participants and parents and children whom she met through her work in the West Hartford Public Schools, she has been described as “compassionate, going above and beyond, and dedicated to her profession,” Coppinger said.

Acting Chief Daniel Coppinger (right) speaks about the highlights of Off. Tom Nagle’s career. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Also honored Friday was Off. Thomas Nagle, is retiring after more than 20 years with the West Hartford Police Department. During his career, Nagle “has been the primary officer on over 10,000 calls for service, has made over 900 arrests, and has made over 1100 motor vehicle stops,” Coppinger said.

Coppinger presented Nagle with a Merit Award in recognition for his service to the Town of West Hartford.

Nagle, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Western New England College in 1985 where he was also a member of the baseball team, joined the West Hartford Police in August 1997, but had previous law enforcement experience as a correction officer with Hartford Correctional Center and as special deputy sheriff for the Hartford County Sheriff’s Department at Hartford Superior Court Lockup.

The majority of his 20-year tenure with the department has been in the Patrol Division, but he has also had stints in Traffic, the Detective Division, and as a court officer, Coppinger said.

He has been highly commended and received multiple Unit Citations, Coppinger said, with highlights that include assisting with the capture of a suspect in 2007 who attempted to shoot his father with a rifle in Newington and then fled to West Hartford; coordinating the response to an armed robbery at the Bank of America on New Britain Avenue in 2010; and in 2014 assisting in the coordinated response to an active home invasion at the home of two elderly residents, and apprehension of the suspect who had assaulted one of the residents.

Nagle also received a West Hartford Fire Department Certificate of Commendation for his helping save the life of a cardiac arrest victim at the Town Garage at Brixton Street, Coppinger said.

Nagle’s daughter, West Hartford Police Off. Sara Nagle, read aloud a touching letter that was sent to the department by a former resident, who as a young boy had been inspired to become a police officer by Tom Nagle’s going above and beyond in speaking with him and giving him and his mother a tour of the police station. In 2016, that former resident graduated from Rhode Island’s municipal police academy, he said in his letter to Tom Nagle, and told him that he “is a firm believer there is no better career than this one … I want to give back to the community the way you gave back to me.”

Tom Nagle also spoke to the crowd, which included his wife Sharon, father Warren Nagle, and his father- and mother-in-law Roger and Bette MacDuff.

“Today is a very happy day for me and a very proud day, but bittersweet all the same,” Tom Nagle said.

He said he loved going to work and putting on his uniform, because of all of his co-workers.

“Police work is really a calling,” Tom Nagle said. “What makes it worth it in so many ways is the people you work with.”

To new officers, Tom Nagle said, “Always remember: it’s not about the ‘me’ it’s about the ‘we.'”

Tom Nagle’s plans for the immediate future include working with his wife as ushers with the Hartford Yard Goats.

Coppinger also announced that Det. Brian Hill will transfer to the Special Investigations Division, effective Sunday, Feb. 18, and Off. Mike Coyne became court officer, effective Feb. 12.

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Det. Leigh Cogle with her mom, Judi. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Off. Tom Nagle speaks at his retirement ceremony. Photo credit: Ronni Newton


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