Top Stories of 2017: Change of leadership at NLPD

Leadership at the New London Police Department changed with little fanfare Jan. 10, the official last day for former Chief Margaret Ackley. Ackley retired after 30 years on the force and eight years as the chief. Her departure likely was celebrated by union board members who through the years had filled City Hall filing cabinets with grievances that highlighted the contentious relationship between her and union leadership. Ackley contended certain union members had tried to undermine her authority. Union members allege they were singled out for discipline.

Ackley’s relationship with city administration also had become strained, as highlighted by her long-pending breach-of-contract lawsuit against the city and its previous administration’s unsuccessful attempt to have her removed.

Deputy Chief Peter Reichard, who was practiced at running the department during Ackley’s long absences, was named interim police chief at the beginning of the year and eventually would surface as the front-runner in the nationwide search for a new chief. Reichard officially was sworn in as chief Nov. 29. He has promised an increase in community policing and stronger bonds between his officers and residents.

— Greg Smith

Review 2017 at www.theday.com/2017review.

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