Greenwich Police Department Swears-In 5 Recruits
By Richard Kaufman
On Monday morning inside a packed Town Hall meeting room, the Greenwich Police Department welcomed five new recruits into the ranks.
Erica Rosario, Allen Arrington III, Christopher Manjuck, Kevin Ingraham and William O’Connor were sworn in by Greenwich First Selectman and acting police commissioner, Peter Tesei, as family and friends looked on with cameras at the ready.
GPD Chief, James Heavey, thanked the officers’ loved ones for attending, and for providing support throughout the years.
Tesei said there’s no greater thrill in his role as the town’s chief elected official than to administer the oath to incoming police officers and firemen. He added that public and life safety is a top priority in Greenwich, and it’s one that attracts residents to live and visit here.
“Without life safety, we don’t have a top-notch community,” Tesei said. “We’re very blessed in this town to have the very finest in men and women in the Greenwich Police Department and our emergency services overall.”
Each recruit comes to Greenwich with a different background and experiences. Some are even following in the footsteps of a relative who worked within the fire or police departments. However, they all share one common goal: to help people in need.
Rosario comes to the GPD from Rockville Center, N.Y. She previously worked as a member of the New York Police Department Auxiliary Police, and was the recipient of the Auxiliary Police Officer of the Year Award. She received her associates degree in criminal justice from LaGaurdia Community College, in 2015, and is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in early childhood education at Ashworth College.
“Being a cop, you’re on the frontline. That’s where I want to be. I want to be the first responder. I have a determination, I have a passion for it and I’m just ready,” she said.
Arrington was previously a corrections officer at Rikers Island in New York City. He received an associates degree in sports nutrition/fitness management from Morrisville State College and is already certified in CPR and AED. But Arrington said he always wanted to be a police officer, going back to when he was growing up in Yonkers, N.Y.
“Growing up, I always heard or saw things that happened in front of me that made me scared. I remember not feeling safe until I saw the red and blue lights come. It felt like my safe haven,” he said. “If I could be that safe haven for a young boy or an adult that’s in harm’s way, that’d be a great feeling.”
Manjuck grew up in Pound Ridge, N.Y., and attended Castleton University. He served as a Crisis Recovery Specialist for Rutland Mental Health Community Care Network. Manjuck’s father, Andy, served as a police officer in Greenwich for nearly 25 years.
“I really want to help people. I’m kind of following in [my dad’s] footsteps,” Manjuck said, noting that his father offered some advice going into the job. “I think he wants me to learn for myself.”
Ingraham, who was born and raised in Greenwich and went to Greenwich High School, comes from a firefighter family. He currently serves as a volunteer lieutenant with the Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Company, and received the Cos Cob Volunteer Firefighter of the Year Award in 2017. Ingraham’s father, Bill, a retired GFD lieutenant, presented his son with his police badge.
“I have reservations with this,” Bill said jokingly. “But, I know it’s what you’ve wanted forever, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Ingraham said the selection process was long, but worth the wait to make a lifelong dream become reality.
“It was a long process, but it makes you appreciate the process. It’s encouraging to know that there’s a long thorough research process for all of us,” he said.
O’Connor, who was born and raised in Greenwich, now joins his two brothers, Michael Jr., and Patrick, along with his father, Michael Sr., in the GPD. A bouquet of flowers was presented to the matriarch of the family, Mary Ann O’Connor.
“When you’re a spouse of a cop, you have to worry about whether they come home safely every shift. If you’re the mom of a police officer, you think the same way,” Heavey said. “It’s a sacrifice that families make all the time. Fortunately for us in the police department, we have that strong family support. Today is a special day.”
William O’Connor said working in Greenwich will be extra special for him.
“I get to come back to where it all started,” he said. “It’s time to come home and give back to the town that’s done so much for me. Now, I can finally give something back.”
Each recruit underwent extensive vetting, which included physical and mental tests, and several interviews. Rosario, Arrington, Manjuck and Ingraham will now head to the State Police Academy in Meriden, Conn., for training. O’Connor will likely start working in Greenwich in the coming days.
The GPD currently stands at 152 officers, with a desired strength of 154. The department will administer a police exam in December for prospective officers.