Fired Shelton police officer hired in Fairfield

K9 officer Stryker with Officer Dan Loris in a photo posted on the Shelton Police Department Facebook page in 2016. Loris was hired by the Fairfield Police Department and sworn in on Monday, Jan. 4.

K9 officer Stryker with Officer Dan Loris in a photo posted on the Shelton Police Department Facebook page in 2016. Loris was hired by the Fairfield Police Department and sworn in on Monday, Jan. 4.

Shelton Police Department / Contributed photo

SHELTON — Former Shelton Police Officer Dan Loris, who was fired in September, has found a new home with the Fairfield department.

Loris, who had been the Shelton police department’s K-9 officer as well as a patrolman before his termination, was sworn in Monday by Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick.

According to a post on the Fairfield police Facebook page, Loris will complete a period of field training before being assigned to the Patrol Division as a patrol officer.

“Right now, we’re not going to comment on the specifics, but I can say that the officer in question went through a rigorous testing process, including an interview before the Board of Police Commissioners,” Fairfield Police Chief Christopher Lyddy said. “He was deemed to be an exceptional candidate, and given a conditional job offer.”

Lyddy said the commission was aware that Loris was fired in Shelton before offering him a job.

“Everyone deserves a second chance,” Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti said. “His performance here was good for a long time, but he made some big mistakes this past year that could not be overlooked.”

Loris was fired from the Shelton department, according to Chief Shawn Sequeira, on allegations of ethics and sexual harassment violations and misconduct while on duty.

Loris’ termination resulted from an internal affairs investigation in connection with what were alleged to be photos of officers changing their clothes in the department parking lot that appeared on the Support the Shelton Police Union Facebook page in July.

Loris filed a grievance, which is still pending.

“There are no hard feelings, but we feel that the evidence and facts compiled could not, should not be accepted as police department standards in 2020. If the Fairfield Police Department want to overlook that, that is their prerogative,” Lauretti added.

The hiring comes after the Connecticut Department of the American Legion named Loris the Connecticut Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Loris was nominated by Legion Post 16 in Shelton, and he was chosen last summer.

This award is usually presented at the American Legion State Convention in July, but due to the pandemic, the convention was canceled. The state passed the award on to Post 16 and recently the commander of Post 16 Dave Gallagher presented the award to Loris.

Each year, the American Legion gives its National Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to a well-rounded law enforcement officer who has exceeded the duty requirements expected of his or her position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement.

The award, which especially takes into account heroic acts, is presented annually at the legion's national convention, according to the American Legion website

Department Law and Order Committees are encouraged to select and honor a Law Enforcement Officer of the Year at their conventions.

Staff writer Joshua LaBella contributed to this story.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com