Dittman is tribe’s interim police chief

Mashantucket — William Dittman, the former New London police captain whose January retirement occasioned controversy, has been named interim chief of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police Department.

The tribe announced Dittman’s appointment in a statement Thursday afternoon.

“We feel the combination of his education and over 30 years of experience in law enforcement will prove to be most beneficial to the tribal nation,” Roy Colebut-Ingram, who chairs the Tribal Council’s Public Safety Committee, said in a statement.

Dittman, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, was quoted in the tribe’s statement.

“I am honored to be appointed interim chief of police of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Police Department, and look forward to the opportunity to blend my law enforcement experience, knowledge and expertise with the unique sovereign components inherent within tribal police departments,” he said. “I thank the tribal council for their support.”

Dittman most recently worked for the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office.

“I feel Mr. Dittman is an excellent choice; he is a fine police officer with good sense and good judgment,” Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane said in the tribe’s statement.

Dittman sued the City of New London after the City Council refused to fund enhanced retirement benefits that Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio had approved for Dittman and two other officers. Dittman’s suit, filed in New London Superior Court, also named Finizio, city Police Chief Margaret Ackley and Bernadette Welch, the city’s personnel director.

Dittman’s dispute with the city was resolved last week when the council accepted settlement agreements addressing the retirement packages of Dittman and another former captain, Michael Lacey.

The Mashantuckets launched a search for a police chief soon after the tribal police department’s former chief, Dan Collins, resigned at the end of May.

Collins’ resignation was believed to be related to an Associated Press report that raised questions about the tribal police force’s ability to assume a greater role inside the tribe’s Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods. The state’s tribal casinos, including Mohegan Sun, share law-enforcement duties inside the gaming facilities with state police.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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