In 2010, Todd Bergeson and Brian Wright were both promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the New London Police Department. So there was a certain symmetry to both men being sworn in together as in New London City Hall’s Council Chambers on June 29.
Mayor Daryl Finizio presided over the ceremony but the pinning of the shields was an honor that fell to their wives in a room packed full of family and friends, City Council members and members of the New London Police Force.
“I’m very confident we have the right people in the right places to do the right job for the city of New London,” said Finizio.
“Two finer officers could not have been selected,” agreed New London City Councilman Rev. Wade Hyslop, Jr. “I think they’re going to do well as part of the leadership team for New London. I think they do have the respect
of their fellow officers.”
“This is a great day for New London,” said Police Chief Margaret Ackley. “I have utmost confidence in all their abilities. They will do a wonderful job.”
The big question, of course, is whether this change in leadership will help heal some of the rifts that have troubled the of late. Ackley answered that with measured optimism.
“It puts our command structure back in place. , it’s very difficult,” she said.
That both of the newly-promoted captains have risen through the ranks of the department and seem have the support of their fellow officers bodes well, however.
“I believe that, coming from the rank and file, we’re bridging the gap,” said Wright.
Wright joined the New London Police Department in 1992. In addition to working as a patrol officer, he has worked with Vice and Narcotics, in the school system as a D.A.R.E. officer, and is a certified instructor for the police department. He was promoted to sergeant in 2002. When he became a lieutenant in 2010, Hyslop noted, he became the first African American officer on the New London Police Force to achieve such a high rank. Wright’s promotion to captain yesterday has topped that.
Bergeson, who was hired in 1997 and made sergeant in 2007, has served as a patrol officer and on the Safe Neighborhood Patrol, the Vice unit, the statewide narcotics task force, and as an instructor. A Gulf War Veteran who served in the U.S. Marines, Bergeson is a second generation police officer. His late father, Axel, (for whom his youngest son is named) was a lieutenant with the New London Police Department.
“I hope to make things better for the officers under me, while at the same time taking care of the administrative needs,” said Bergeson. “It’s not going to be easy but I think I’m up to the task.”
When asked how he thought his father would have felt if he could have seen the promotion ceremony, Bergeson said, “I think he’d be very pleased. A lot of his ideas about policing are mine, so I think he’d be extremely proud.”