The West Hartford Police Department held a swearing-in ceremony for seven new officers on Tuesday morning in Town Council chambers.
By Ronni Newton
Seven new officers were sworn in as members of the West Hartford Police Department during a ceremony in Town Council chambers Tuesday morning.
The new officers come from varied backgrounds, including some who previously served with other departments and two who attended the West Hartford Police Department’s “Behind the Badge” College Academy.
The new officers include:
Ofc. Jacqueline Twiss
Originally from Rhode Island, Twiss earned her bachelor’s degree at Simmons College in Boston and was hired by the University of Connecticut Police Department in March 2015. She is a graduate of the Hartford Police Academy, and during her time at UConn worked with their Special Victim’s Unit, was trained in Crisis Intervention, and was a Field Training Officer responsible for instructing several disciplines. She was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2018, and most recently was a patrol supervisor at the Farmington campus.
She was also active with community outreach programs, including teaching a class on police interaction with the LGBTQ+ community.
Ofc. Kent Lee Jr.
A native of Hartford, Lee attended West Hartford Public Schools and received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Goodwin College. He worked as a police cadet with the Hartford Police Department for two years, and joined the University of Connecticut Police Department as an officer in 2020.
At UConn, Lee was involved in recruitment and community outreach, and is certified as a bicycle officer, background inspector, and in car seat installation.
Ofc. Nicholas Grasso
Grasso is from Orange County, New York, graduated from Burke Catholic High School, and attended community college before completing his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from SUNY Oneonta, where he also ran track.
He decided to pursue his family legacy, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who both had careers in law enforcement. Prior to joining the West Hartford Police Department, he was an officer with the Savannah (Georgia) Police Department for two years.
Ofc. Gregory Peet
A native of Torrington, CT, Peet enlisted in the Army National Guard after high school, serving seven years as a combat engineer. After his service, he pursued his lifelong dream of law enforcement, and has worked as an officer in traffic, Field Training, and as an instructor.
Ofc. Delionel Jimenez
Jimenez is from Harlem, NY, and with a background in music and classical training he sang in the the Boys Choir of Harlem and graduated from the Choir Academy of Harlem High School. He has been singing in churches and at other venues since childhood, and has also performed throughout the United States and in Ankara, Turkey.
He decided to pursue his dream of law enforcement, following in the footsteps of his uncle who has more than 30 years of service with the NYPD, and joined the Savannah (Georgia) Police Department in 2020.
Ofc. Caleb Preato
Preato, who is from Barkhamsted, CT, is a 2018 graduate of Northwestern Regional 7 High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology with a minor in psychology from Central Connecticut State University.
He completed the “Behind the Badge” College Academy in West Hartford, and that confirmed his goal of pursuing a career as a police officer.
Ofc. Alexis Marcelo
A native of Lima, Peru, Marcelo moved the United States in 2010, originally to Salt Lake City, Utah, but then in 2011 he moved to Newington, CT, where he graduated from Newington High School in 2013.
Marcelo enlisted in the Connecticut Army National Guard as a wheeled vehicle mechanic, earning an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Manchester Community College and then a bachelor’s degree in criminology with a minor in psychology from Central Connecticut State University. He completed the West Hartford Police Department’s “Behind the Badge” College Academy, and decided that becoming a police officer in West Hartford was his calling.
Chief Vernon Riddick said at a meeting of the Town Council’s Public Safety Committee earlier this month that with the hiring of the new recruits, the department has two remaining vacancies. All of the new officers will participate in the department’s Field Officer Training Program before being given their assignments.
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