Police officer leaves Bridgeport for Shelton PD

Mayor Mark Lauretti, right, swore in new police officer Jerel Nembhard, center, as police Chief Shawn Sequeira looks on on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at City Hall. also a Shelton resident.

Mayor Mark Lauretti, right, swore in new police officer Jerel Nembhard, center, as police Chief Shawn Sequeira looks on on Wednesday, Jan. 27, at City Hall. also a Shelton resident.

Shelton Police Department / Contributed photo

SHELTON — There is yet another new face on the police force.

Mayor Mark Lauretti, with police Chief Shawn Sequeira at his side on Wednesday, swore in new officer Jerel Nembhard, also a Shelton resident. This hire comes two weeks after welcoming four new officers to the department.

“(Nembhard) came highly recommended with a diverse background and great education and experience,” Sequeira said. “... He will be a great asset. We are honored to have him at our department as well as a Shelton resident. We believe he compliments our community and are very excited in welcoming him.”

This hire has the police department at 49 members. Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky said the department is also in the process of testing for non-certified candidates.

The five new hires come after six officers were terminated — resulting from two separate internal affairs investigations — and two retired. The six terminated officers have filed grievances which have yet to be heard by the labor board.

Sequeira said while the department lost some 10 percent of the force, patrol coverage was never impacted. The arrival of the new hires, he said, will allow for opportunities for more school resource officers, expanding crime prevention programs and DEA and task force coverage.

Nembhard comes with law enforcement experience, having spent the last three years with the Bridgeport Police Department. Since this is a lateral move, Sequeira said Nembhard can start immediately as patrol officers.

New police officers earn $64,940 a year.

Nembhard also owns his own business, Stabilize Fitness, and is a personal trainer and online coach.

He graduated from Central High School before graduating from Western Connecticut State University with a degree in justice and law administration, with a concentration in criminology, and a minor in psychology. He is currently in the process of obtaining masters in criminal justice from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com