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New London hires three new police officers

New London — Officials welcomed three new police officers to the city on Thursday, including two certified officers, each with more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, and a new recruit who speaks three languages.

A swearing-in ceremony was held at City Hall to announce the hiring of Gustavo ”Gus” Salas of New London, Christopher J. Rood of Niantic and Jose Pansini of Amston. New London police Chief Peter Reichard said the officers will fill vacancies at the department and were found during a recent recruitment drive.

Salas was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, and grew up in Norwalk. He is a former Marine Corps scout sniper involved in military operations in Panama, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He served with the Manchester Police Department from 1996 to 1998 and with Connecticut State Police from 1998 to 2018, where he served in the Statewide Narcotics Task Force as a detective and narcotics K-9 handler. He most recently worked with the Mashantucket Tribal Police Department.

Salas is fluent in Spanish and has assisted the New London Police Department with his translation abilities in the past. He has been awarded 14 times as both an active-duty Marine and as a state police officer. Salas has one daughter, Cameron Anita, and his hobbies include martial arts.

Rood is a Windham native who holds an associate degree in criminal justice from Manchester Community College and worked for 21 years with the Willimantic Police Department until his retirement as a detective in 2017. He’s worked for the past year and a half at the Mashantucket Tribal Police Department. Rood has two children, Abby and Jack. He currently lives with his girlfriend, Heather, and her three children, Devin, Jenna and Logan.

Pansini, who is headed to the Connecticut State Police Academy for training on April 5, was born in Venezuela and has lived in Spain and Puerto Rico. He is fluent in Spanish, Italian and English. He and his wife, Natalie, have two young daughters, Giuliana and Angelina.


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