Plainville selects new top cop

The Town Council voted unanimously Monday, Jan. 3 to make Christopher Vanghele Plainville's next chief of police. His duties begin Jan. 31.

Vanghele comes to Plainville from the Newtown Police Department, where he served for more than 28 years, the past five as captain.

According to published reports, Vanghele was one of the first officers to enter Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012, the day 20 first-graders and six educators were gunned down.

In a statement announcing Vanghele's hiring, Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee said, "As Captain he runs the day-to-day operations, manages the individual bureau departments, manages the budget, leads the department towards its mission, institutes and manages policies and procedures, and is the liaison for other town and outside agencies."

"He is dedicated to the idea of professional development and has always worked tirelessly to better his department, its officers, and their relationship with the community," Lee added. "On a personal note, I have come to know that Chris is very personable, enjoys speaking with citizens, and has a wry sense of humor. I believe he will serve the residents of Plainville in fine fashion."

Vanghele's predecessor, Matthew Catania, died in March of 2021. For the past six months, Lt. Eric Peterson has navigated the department as interim chief.

Tuesday, Jan. 4, Peterson took to the Plainville Police Department Facebook page, where he urged the community to rally around Vanghele.

"I would like to thank all in the community that have supported me during past few months. For reasons beyond my control the Town Council has chosen a candidate from outside of the police department," Peterson wrote. "I have accepted this and plan on being as instrumental as possible to incoming Chief Vanghele. I am reaching out to the community to pull us all together and give Chief Vanghele the best chance to succeed. We have an excellent police department and we will continue to provide the best police service possible. My goal now is to make the transition as smooth as possible. Thank you for all the support you give to our police department."


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