Police Commission Hires from Within
The call for a new police chief came to a celebratory conclusion May 26 with the swearing-in of Frank Cappiello to lead the Woodbridge department. The Police Commission, under the leadership of Robert Berke, chose Sergeant Cappiello from among 43 applicants. In picking a born-and-bred Woodbridge resident, the commission continues the line of “hyper-local” police chiefs, the last of which, Eugene Marcucci, retired in January.
“Woodbridge is my life,” Chief Cappiello said in his remarks after taking the oath administered by First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. He grew up in this town, graduated in 1975 from Amity High and later from Southern Connecticut State University with a Master’s degree in psychology. He and his wife Roseann chose to live in the community and raise their family here. All three of their children — AJ, Katie and Stephen — were present at the ceremony, which took place under bright sunshine on the green. AJ, a police sergeant in Woodbridge in his own right, helped his 21-month-old daughter attach the pin.
Cappiello entered the local force in 1980 and dedicated his professional life to this department, where he rose through the ranks, from patrol officer to patrol sergeant (1987) and administrative sergeant in 2002. A special opportunity opened up for him in 2008, when he was selected to attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va., the most prestigious command training for law enforcement leaders throughout the world. During three intense months, officers attend courses and take a fitness challenge.
In his remarks, Cappiello paid tribute to all who held the position before him, teaching him about pride, respect, service and accountability, he said. His voice was thick with emotion when he thanked his family and friends, those present at the swearing-in and those who weren’t. The latter comment was a fond tip of the hat to his mother, the late Clara Cappiello, who had passed away just a few days prior.
To the community he pledged transparency, and the service of a highly-trained police force that delivers above and beyond. He called on his fellow officers to always maintain integrity, professionalism and respect, and promised as their leader to provide guidance and resources to the best of his abilities.
First Selectman Ellen Scalettar thanked Deputy and Interim Chief Raymond Stuart for stepping up and leading the department after Marcucci’s departure in January. She also thanked the Police Commission members for the many hours dedicated to the search for a new chief. Serving on the commission, in addition to Chairman Berke, are Drs. Deborah Desir and Deborah Fried, Matthew Gilbride and Stephen Falcigno.
“It was a long process,” said Commission Chairman Robert Berke at the swearing in. “I think we picked the right person.”
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent