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Norwich — Just eight months ago, Detective Jonathan Ley was still recovering from the physical and mental scars of having been shot four times and contemplating his return to the force.
Ley was emotional during a promotion ceremony on Friday, choking up as he commended fellow officers for their support.
“I’d like to thank everyone in the room,” Ley said. “It’s been a hard year for me. I’m just happy I’m at work and still functional.”
Ley, 39, joined fellow Detective John Perry, 40, in a badge-pinning ceremony celebrating their promotion to the rank of sergeant. Both men had proved themselves by their actions and earned their new rank through a competitive process, according to Norwich Police Chief Louis J. Fusaro Sr.
“We have high expectations for them,” Fusaro said. “Ours is a very young department. We will rely on them to pass along their knowledge and expertise.”
Ley has been with the department for 15 years and spent two decades with the U.S. Coast Guard, first in active duty and later as a reservist. He served in Kuwait in 2009 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and was again called to active duty in New York City following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Ley has accumulated numerous commendations, and is a police instructor with the regional Law Enforcement Council’s officer recertification program.
Ley was shot and seriously injured during a confrontation with a suicidal man in Norwich on the night of Jan. 7, 2013. Before his return to work and assignment to the detective division, he was working as the department’s background investigator for new recruits.
He will now be working as the midnight shift patrol supervisor with many of the officers he had a hand in hiring.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to share some of the experience I had and help them learn from my mistakes,” Ley said.
Perry, a married father of two sons who has been with the department for 12 years, carries on a family law enforcement tradition. His father, Raymond Perry, is a former Norwich patrol officer.
Perry thanked his family for always being there when he needed them and the officers who helped guide him.
“Everyone that is here at the P.D. today, thank you so much. You’ve made my career that much easier,” Perry said. “I’ve learned lessons from each and every one of you.”
A former K-9 officer, Perry has worked with the motor vehicle crash reconstruction unit and served as a field training officer, during which time he helped many new officers learn the streets of Norwich.
Perry has earned numerous awards and commendations, including an exceptional service award for his work in 2012 to investigate and solve a rash of residential and commercial burglaries.
Perry will be the new evening shift patrol supervisor.