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Newtown Hiring Away Middlebury Chief To Replace Retiring Michael Kehoe



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A former Newtown Police Commission member currently serving as Middlebury’s police chief has been chosen to head the Newtown Police Department after Chief Michael Kehoe’s planned retirement January 6.

Police Commission members announced November 3 that Sandy Hook resident James Viadero, 56, will assume the post after Chief Kehoe, 60, departs. Chief Kehoe, who joined the police department in 1978, announced his retirement in June.

Mr Viadero, who ran on the Republican ticket, was elected to the Police Commission in 2009 and was reelected in 2013. In mid-2014, he announced he would take the Middlebury police chief job.

He then resigned from the Newtown Police Commission and from his post as a captain with the Bridgeport Police Department, where he had worked for 29 years.

As Newtown’s police chief, Mr Viadero will head an organization formed in 1971 which has 45 full-time sworn officers when at its full complement. Middlebury’s police department has 11 full-time and four part-time officers.

The Police Commission, which began its search for a new chief in June, selected Mr Viadero from among a field of ten applicants.

In remarks made at the Police Commission session after members unanimously approved his hiring, a broadly smiling  Mr Viadero said, “I’m very, very excited…I look forward to the future.”

The longtime Newtown resident said he is well aware of the high quality of the staff at the Newtown Police Department.

Mr Viadero told Police Commission members, “Thank you for your vote of confidence and putting your trust in me.”

 In comments at the start of the session, commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico said that the full commission and First Selectman Pat Llodra thoroughly reviewed the ten candidates for the position before agreeing on Mr Viadero.

Commission member Joel Faxon commented, “It was a difficult decision for me…I think we came to the right decision.”

Member Brian Budd said that with Chief Kehoe’s departure, the police department will be losing a person with vast law enforcement knowledge.

Mr Budd added, “I believe we came up with a decision that will help this department move forward.”

“It’s going to be new beginning for the department,” said member Virgil Procaccini, Jr.

After the commission voted to hire Mr Viadero, he stepped forward and shook the commission members’ hands, receiving their congratulations amid applause from the audience.

Mr Viadero starts work in Newtown as its fifth police chief January 7.

Current Middlebury Police Chief James Viadero shakes hands with retiring Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe at a Tuesday, November 3, Police Commission meeting after Mr Viadero was named the town’s new police chief. Standing in the background are, from left, commission members Andrew Sachs and Joel Faxon, Chairman Paul Mangiafico and Virgil Procaccini, Jr. Member Brian Budd is not visible in the photo.  
Retiring Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe, left, is pictured beside his replacement - current Middlebury Chief James Viadero - who was introduced at a Tuesday, November 3, Police Commission meeting.
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