22-Year City Police Veteran Selected As Assistant Chief
November 10, 2006
By STEVEN GOODE, Courant Staff Writer
When Jose Lopez Sr. came to Hartford fresh out of John Jay College in New York City 22 years ago, his first job for the Hartford Police Department was working as a patrolman.
But Lopez knew that if he followed his parents' advice, there was no limit to how far he could rise in the department.
"My mother said always be honest and my father said be the best you can be," Lopez said.
On Thursday, Lopez reached a goal when he was named assistant chief of the department.
"When I applied I pictured it," said Lopez, who will be in charge of community policing.
For Lopez, who became one of the department's first community services officers in 1988 working out of the Frog Hollow neighborhood, community policing plays a vital role.
"We're just one part of the community. Alone we aren't going to accomplish anything," he said.
Lopez was among more than a dozen officers promoted Thursday afternoon at a ceremony in the Hartford Hilton Hotel ballroom. The group has more than 200 combined years of experience in Hartford.
Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez said the officers represented the city's "A-list" and thanked their families, many of whom attended the ceremony and helped to pin on their new badges.
"They put themselves in harm's way every time they leave home," Perez said. "They wouldn't be successful without the support of their families."
The other officers promoted were; Paul B. Hammick to deputy chief; Achilles Rethis and Stephen Hajdasz to captain; James Buyak and Luis A. Rodriguez to lieutenant; and Timothy Shaw, Christopher Arace, Cynthia R. Dryfe, Michael T. Kot, Reginald Allen, Michael Cacioli and Patrick M. Farrell to sergeant.
Arace is the brother of Hartford police Officer Matthew Arace, who was killed in October when his vehicle crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer that was stopped on I-91 for construction. Matthew Arace was off duty at the time of the accident.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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