East Lyme police welcome two recruits
East Lyme – Two recruits sworn in at the East Lyme Police Department Friday will be part of the inaugural class of the Eastern Regional Police Academy in Norwich.
Xiaochen Xu and Ryan Kelly will join 13 other recruits when they report to the academy on Jan. 17, according to police Chief Mike Finkelstein. With the completion of the academy in mid-July and then 400 hours of field training, they will bring the East Lyme department to 28 full-time officers.
Xu, 23, of East Lyme, is a graduate of East Lyme High School and is attending Eastern Connecticut State University with a major in business management. He is currently a specialist in the Connecticut Army National Guard and a firearms instructor.
Kelly, 23, of Essex, graduated from Valley Regional High School in Deep River. He earned an associate’s degree in psychology at Middlesex Community College and a bachelor’s degree in social work at Eastern Connecticut State University. Kelly has worked as an event security officer at the Mohegan Sun Casino.
Finkelstein said Xu and Kelly each bring specialized skills.
“Officer Xu is another outstanding addition to the East Lyme Police Department who, among a large number of skills, is fluent in Mandarin, which is an enormous benefit to the law enforcement community,” he said.
He said Kelly’s training as a social worker will help the department better serve the public.
The non-profit Law Enforcement Council of Connecticut received certification from the Police Officer Standards and Training Council in September to open a satellite academy at 11 Stott Ave. in Norwich.
Hands-on parts of the training, such as defensive tactics, will be done at the Army National Guard Armory nearby on Stott Avenue. Firearms training will be carried out at any one of the several facilities in eastern Connecticut, including Waterford and Groton.
Finkelstein will serve as the dean of the academy’s criminal investigation department, which includes crime scene processing. Already a certified instructor, FInkelstein will be teaching classes in forensic science and terrorism and suicide bombers.
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