New police chief all settled in

Shelton Police Chief Shawn Sequeira said now that he’s officially been awarded the title of chief, he plans to help the department earn its second- and third-tier accreditation. — Aaron Berkowitz photo.

Just weeks after being named the city’s new police chief, Shawn Sequeira said he felt like he was already serving in that role before being awarded the title.

“It feels great, I already felt I was already doing the position,” Sequeira said. “I feel very comfortable here, I love the City of Shelton, great atmosphere, very attractive, I love my coworkers. I got used to the whole position here so all I needed was the official title and I got it and I’m thankful.”

Sequeira was ratified as the city’s new police chief at the May 25 Board of Aldermen meeting and his five-year contract was approved on Thursday, June 8.

Roughly 20 members of the police department attended the June 8 Aldermen meeting to show their support of Sequeira.

The city’s new chief said the people of Shelton can expect more of what the department has been showing since he took over as interim chief back in October 2015.

“We’re going to continue to work toward higher accreditation standards, monitor traffic conditions, continue to work on safety and risk reduction within the community, and continue to keep the businesses both small and large safe,” he said.

Sequeira said from his understanding, the city’s police department had been working to become accredited for more than 15 years, but was unable to do so until November of 2016.

“It’s not an easy task to do,” said Sequeira. “You’re setting yourself to a higher standard.”

Sequeira explained that the department has earned “tier one accreditation.”

According to the Law Enforcement Accreditation Program website, CALEA.org, the “Law Enforcement Accreditation Program was the first credentialing program established by CALEA after its founding. It was originally developed to address what was seen as a need to enhance law enforcement as a profession and to improve law enforcement service delivery. That mission continues today through a tiered law enforcement accreditation program. Agencies may participate in either CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation (Tier 1) or CALEA Advanced Law Enforcement Accreditation (Tier 2), without regard to agency size.”

Chief Sequeira said third tier accreditation is also attainable and is typically acquired at the same time as the second. He said he’s confident in the department’s ability to continue the professionalism that earned them its accreditation.

“When your kid goes to college, most people want their child to go to an accredited school. When there’s day care, you look for an accredited day care because you know the level of success is proven, it’s documented … It shows that we’re not slacking, the professionalism,” said Sequeira. “We basically make sure the building is up to code and up to standards, all policies are written to a certain level and most importantly that the policies and procedures are being followed.”

The chief speculated that the department would earn levels two and three accreditation in eight months.

All settled in his spot as chief, Sequeira said if it was all up to him he’d remain chief “for a long time.”

Sequeira said he appreciates the support he’s received from the community and his main goal is to keep them safe.

“Thank you for supporting me, we’ve got a lot of improvements that we’re going to continue to do. I look forward to working here in the community, thank you for welcoming me. I’m excited about the position, I won’t let you down.”

The chief said Mayor Mark Lauretti discussed with him about doing a formal swearing in ceremony, but a date has not been set.

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