With the recent promotion of four officers into leadership positions with the town’s Police Department, the administrative team is fully staffed for the first time in two decades.
Stonington Police Chief Jay DelGrosso and newly promoted Deputy Chief Todd Olson are now focused on guiding the department to be an even more valuable local resource and community partner for years to come.
DelGrosso and Olson each said last week that with the recent promotions, the agency has managed to fill a role – deputy chief – that had remained vacant since the last deputy chief, David Erskine, was promoted in the early 2000s. He retired in 2008, and the Board of Police Commissioners had not filled the position throughout the 13-year tenure of former chief J. Darren Stewart.
“When I arrived, this agency already had a solid staff and good structure in how it was composed, but it is important to make sure we are filling these roles,” DelGrosso said last week. “With the promotions, we have a strong and clear chain of command.”
During a ceremony held in partnership with Mystic Seaport last week, Olson was promoted from captain to deputy chief; Lt. Bryan Schneider was promoted to captain; Sgt. Tim Marley was promoted to lieutenant and officer Ryan Rodgers was promoted to sergeant.
For Olson, who had served as captain since the retirement of Jerry Desmond eight years ago, the promotion is more of a change of title than a change of responsibilities. While under Stewart, he served as second in command of the department and the agency’s public information officer, a role that has led many in the community to recognize his voice on the Everbridge system used for general messages to the public.
A resident in the community with his wife, Rebekah, the couple has a daughter, Elisabeth, and son, Samuel. He is a 25-year member of the Stonington Police Department.
Schneider, meanwhile, will see a significant shift in responsibilities as he helps to spearhead the department’s accreditation process in the coming months. Due to a variety of regulations implemented as part of the police accountability bill passed by the legislature, the department must review and update all policies in accordance with standards set by Connecticut Police Officer Standards and Training Council, or POST.
“All departments are required to receive this accreditation, and (Capt. Schenider) is experienced and able to take on the challenges of being an accreditation manager,” Olson said. “For the next several months, it is a task that is going to take a considerable amount of his time.”
A 22-year Stonington police veteran, Schneider has climbed the ranks with the agency and served in a number of supervisory roles over the years. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are proud parents of a daughter, Lila. Schneider was instrumental in the department’s installation of body and dashboard cameras, in compliance with the same police accountability bill, and has overseen the department’s fleet and dispatch operations.
Once the accreditation process is complete, the department will transition to take the town-level emergency management role from George Brennan, who is expected to retire soon. Olson and Schneider will each be part of that transition.
Marley is another longtime officer with the department, having started his career in 1997, and has served in several roles for the agency. He and his wife, Lisa, are parents to a daughter, Kylee, and son, Luke.
Rodgers began his career with the department in 2016 and has proven his dedication, often filling shifts and showing strong poise and the ability to remain calm under pressure. He and his wife, Rachel, are parents of a son, Rylen.
Olson said the various promotions serve not only as a chance to fill all roles, but they are opportunities for a valuable morale boost for officers as a whole. He said the promotions, which were all filled with internal candidates, provide officers with hope for advancement in their careers.
“For myself and the other officers promoted, I can safely say that we are excited to grow alongside the department,” Olson said. “Stonington is growing, and the department will need to grow and evolve to keep pace with the town’s needs. I am excited to be able to be a part of that process.”News Source: The Westerly Sun