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Mashantuckets swear in five police officers, promote one

By Brian Hallenbeck

Publication: theday.com

Published February 22. 2013 10:00AM   Updated February 22. 2013 11:51PM

Mashantucket — The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe swore in five police officers Friday and promoted another during ceremonies at the tribe's public safety complex on Pequot Trail.

The tribal police department, which now has 20 officers, has doubled in size since July, when William Dittman was named police chief.

The department has been preparing to assume more responsibility for policing on its reservation — including Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods — where it shares concurrent jurisdiction with state police.

"The newest additions to our department represent a vast knowledge base of police experience, which will complement our existing exemplary team and serve to further enhance our protection and service to the tribal community," Dittman said in a statement.

Katy Tougas, an 18-year veteran of the tribe's Public Safety Department, was promoted to lieutenant.

Sworn in as officers were:

• Daniel Martin, who recently retired from the South Windsor Police Department after 31 years of service, 16 of which were dedicated to criminal investigation.

Martin supervised a regional narcotics unit and served as an investigator and as a sergeant in the detective division. He was sergeant of a special enforcement unit and led the Capital Region Emergency Services Team. He holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Westfield (Mass.) State College.

• Pasquale "Pat" Marino, who recently retired from the New Haven Police Department, where he'd served since 1991.

Following 11 years on patrol, including temporary assignment in the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, Marino was promoted to detective and assigned to the sexual assault, narcotics enforcement and robbery/burglary units. After his appointment as detective sergeant, he served as officer in charge of the robbery/burglary units and the Bureau of Identification/crime scene investigation unit.

• Anthony Zona, who recently retired from the New Haven Police Department after 24 years of service.

Zona served for 10 years as a patrol officer until his promotion to detective. Assigned to the Family Services Division, he investigated sexual assaults, serious juvenile crimes and domestic violence cases. Upon his promotion to sergeant, he was assigned to the Patrol Division and became district commander of the Fair Haven section of the city.

• Kevin Leach, who began his law enforcement career in the U.S. Coast Guard, where he participated in various law enforcement schools and patrols up and down the East Coast.

Following his honorable discharge in 1989, Leach joined the Norwich Police Department. He received the 2006 Connecticut State Police Outstanding Service Award and is pursuing a degree in business administration at Three Rivers Community College.

• Alexander Tran, an entry-level officer who will attend the Connecticut Police Academy in April.

Tran has served as a public safety officer and completed internships with the West Hartford Police Department, the state Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Connecticut Juvenile Training School. He has a bachelor's degree in criminology.

Tougas joined the tribe's Public Safety Department in 1994 and worked as an EMT/firefighter/dispatcher before graduating from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy and becoming a tribal police officer.

She served as the tribe's canine handler from 1999 to 2008, as well as a domestic violence instructor, ASP instructor and field training officer. Following her promotion to detective sergeant in 2007, she became the department's criminal/internal investigator.

Dittman told the state legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee this week that seven more officers are in various stages of the hiring process. He said 11 of the 20 officers now in place have been certified by the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council. The other nine are close to gaining certification, as are the seven officers yet to be hired, he said.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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