Norwich police promote new lieutenant, sergeant for midnight shift

Norwich — Policing has changed a lot since officers Christopher G. Callaway and Ryan Kelsey joined the Norwich Police Department some two decades ago.

The two stood together Friday in a room at Norwich City Hall to accept promotions that will take their careers to the next level in the department: Callaway as a lieutenant and the new midnight shift commander, and Kelsey as a sergeant and patrol division supervisor, also on the midnight shift.

“I’ve had a great run and worked with some great officers and supervisors in my time spent here in the NPD,” Kelsey said. He reflected on the way policing has changed over the years: "When we hit the road, we went out the door and all we wore was a bullet-proof vest, duty belt, hat, patrol vest. That’s how I started. Now in 2019, officers leave roll call with AR 15s, helmets, Tasers, extra ammunition and extra body armor. If you don’t think policing has changed in the last 20 years, you’re fooling yourselves.”

Kelsey, 45, originally from Norwalk and now living in Plainfield, graduated from the University of New Haven, where he played football and baseball, with a bachelor of business administration degree in criminal justice. He was hired as a Norwich police officer in December 2000 after working as a police officer at the Whiting Forensic Unit in Middletown.

Kelsey was assigned to the Norwich police Detective Division's narcotics unit in 2012, at times as an undercover officer. He has trained as a DARE officer working with youth on drug education, trained as a hostage negotiator, a bicycle patrol officer, community policing and domestic violence response. This year, he passed a New York Police Department homicide and special victims’ unit courses — difficult classes to get into and pass, Norwich police Chief Patrick Daley said.

Kelsey’s mother, Marline Kelsey-Elliott, pinned on his badge, as his daughter, Taylor Kelsey, 23, and his fiancée, Heidi Deasy, looked on.

Callaway, 46, of Marlborough joined Norwich police in 1999 after graduating from the Connecticut Police Academy in Meriden. He is an eight-year U.S. Army veteran. He has trained in numerous police skill categories, and is a certified instructor for firearms, patrol rifle and police response to active shooter incidents.

But Callaway also is an instructor in “less-lethal impact munitions” and Taser. He also is a certified accident reconstructionist and has investigated numerous serious and fatal crashes. His professional highlights filled a page of the news release that Daley issued Friday.

He most recently served as the police department’s training and selections unit commander, hiring officers, dispatchers as well as civilian staff.

Callaway’s wife, Colleen, and his daughter, Kaitlyn, 12, pinned on his new badge Friday. The couple’s three other children, Andrew, 14, Luke, 13, and Avery, 11, also attended.

Callaway thanked Daley for having confidence in him and turned to a favorite quote from former President Ronald Reagan: “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things, he is the one who gets the troops under him to do the greatest things. So, for the midnight guys, all I’ll say is, you have great things ahead.”

c.bessette@theday.com

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