Departments in Groton, Ledyard, Waterford welcome new officers

As the new year approaches, several area departments are welcoming police officers to their ranks.

Groton City and Ledyard each gained a new officer this week after the state Police Officer Standards and Training Council held its 358th graduation ceremony at Central Connecticut State University.

Xavier Crawford, a lifelong Groton City resident and a 2014 graduate of Robert E. Fitch High School, is Groton City’s newest member. Crawford, who has attended classes at Three Rivers Community College and Westfield State University, is pursuing a degree in criminal justice.

Crawford began his field training Friday.

Officer Daniel Knight, a 2011 graduate of New London High School, has joined the Ledyard Police Department.

Knight joined the U.S. Army in 2012 and spent a year stationed in Germany. The veteran also has attended criminal justice classes at Three Rivers Community College.

Reached by phone Friday, the 25-year-old said he was honored and “at a loss for words” when Ledyard police responded to his May application for the job.

He said he chose Ledyard in part because he drove through there often and began to love the scenery and the town.

“Also, they’re very professional people,” Knight added. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Ledyard Police Department.”

Knight said he’s a little nervous but overwhelmingly excited as he prepares to put his new training to use in the field.

The Waterford Police Department additionally swore in two new officers this week.

One of them, Nick Swarr, is a 28-year-old sergeant with the Army National Guard who grew up in Montville. Swarr used to be a guard at Millstone Power Station.

The other, Will Blanchette, is a 23-year-old whose associate degree in criminal justice is pending — he just finished his last required course. Blanchette has served as a community service officer in Waterford and a security guard at The William W. Backus Hospital. He grew up in Stonington.

The pair hasn’t attended the police academy, yet, but they’re scheduled to head there Dec. 29.

l.boyle@theday.com

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