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    Monday, August 15, 2022

    East Lyme police swear in two officers, two recruits

    East Lyme police Chief Michael Finkelstein, left, swears in four new officers, from left, Ryan Gries, Taylor Desjardins, John Baldino and Justin Hannah on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at Town Hall. Gries and Desjardins will attend the Connecticut Police Academy starting later this month, followed by 400 hours of field training. Baldino and Hannah both come from the Old Saybrook police and are already on patrol. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)

    East Lyme — Four new members of the East Lyme Police Department took their ceremonial oath of office Thursday, with two already hitting the streets and two starting training Friday at the Connecticut Police Academy.

    The department said in a news release that officer recruits Taylor Desjardins and Ryan Gries will complete 28 weeks of training followed by 400 hours of field training upon graduation.

    Desjardin will become the department's sixth female officer. Chief Michael Finkelstein said the new hires will bring the total number of officers to 26, including the most recent position added in the recently approved 2021-22 budget.

    Desjardins was raised in Plainfield. She graduated from Three Rivers Community College with an associate degree in criminal justice before earning a bachelor's degree in the same field of study from Nichols College in Massachusetts. She recently worked as a judicial marshal for the state, and was a part-time dispatcher for police departments in Plainfield and Putnam.

    Gries, raised in Northford, graduated from Becker College in Massachusetts with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He worked in loss prevention for Stop & Shop supermarkets in the New Haven area.

    Officer Justin Hanna began working with the department on March 29 after almost three years with the Old Saybrook Police Department. He was raised in Oxford and graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Southern Connecticut State University.

    Officer John Baldino began work on May 3, also with almost three years at the Old Saybrook Police Department. Raised in Sprague, he graduated from the University of Connecticut with a bachelor's degree in psychology.

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