WALLINGFORD — Deputy Police Chief Marc Mikulski is retiring to take a job in public safety at Hartford HealthCare.
Friday was Mikulski’s last day in the office. Chief William Wright said a new deputy chief may be promoted from within, allowing others to move up as well.
“It will give others an opportunity to perform at a higher level,” Wright said. “I think (Mikulski has) done a really good job of preparing them for that succession.”
The promotions are anticipated to come during next few months.
Mikulski, 53, accepted a position at Hartford HealthCare overseeing public safety in the health care network’s central region, which includes The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center.
“I don’t have any doubt that he’s going to be very successful in his new position,” said Wright, who worked with Mikulski for 23 years. “He’s prepared himself to take on greater responsibility. It’s a big undertaking, that job.”
Throughout Mikulski’s career in law enforcement, he’s sought out leadership roles.
He has a degree from Middlesex Community College in criminal justice, where he’s been an adjunct professor for several years and developed the college’s first online criminal justice class.
He also earned a degree from Quinnipiac University in organizational management and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Haven.
Mikulski grew up in Wallingford and graduated in 1984 from Notre Dame High School in West Haven.
After spending about a year at the Seymour Police Department, Mikulski joined the Wallingford Police Department in 1987.
He has held every position as he rose through the ranks to deputy chief in 2015, including patrol officer, detective, sergeant, detective sergeant, patrol lieutenant, and lieutenant in charge of detective division. He also worked in records and as public information officer.
One of his proudest moments, he said, was graduating from the FBI National Academy in 2006. The program is in Quantico, Virginia.
He was nominated to attend by Wright and Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.
“Less than 1 percent of law enforcement in the world get to go to that,” he said. “I was really thankful to be able to do that.”
He said he’s seen huge changes in his 32 years at the Wallingford Police Department, from advances in technology to more transparency and officer accountability.
Community policing represents the biggest shift in policy, he said.
“It’s what the public demands,” he said. “We’ve taken this agency to a mainstream community policing organization. We take into consideration our community on all decisions we make.”
Police talk to clergy, business owners and residents, including most recently the Wallingford Resident Crime Watch Group, which meets to address car prowling.
“Our goals here have to align with the goals of the community,” he said.
His personal goals as a police official grew beyond police work and into mentoring other officers.
“My main focus has been developing our employees to be future leaders in the organization,” he said, adding that he’s “proud of the people who’ve progressed through the ranks.”
He also worked closely with the Wallingford Fire Department to put together the regional operations center housed at the police department, morphing the old hazards plan into the modern emergency operations center.
His police work has dealt with routine calls and major crimes.
“We’ve had everything from barking dogs to homicides,” he said. “Our job is not only to put people in jail and to to solve the crimes, but make our citizens feel a sense of safety and security in their own community.”
Wright said that Mikulski never lost his passion for the job of policing.
“That will serve him well moving forward,” Wright said, “his passion and commitment to the mission.”
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