Southington cop named state American Legion officer of the year 

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SOUTHINGTON — Officer Chris LaPorte received the local and state Officer of the Year award from the American Legion. 

“We’re just like you,” LaPorte said of working with the community. “Anyone in community policing, which is a role more important now than ever, we want you to talk to us. I’m there for you, I’m a person just like you.”

LaPorte, who has been with the Southington Police Department for 25 years, called the recognition “an honor.” He currently serves as community/crime prevention officer.

Police Chief Jack Daly said LaPorte does a “phenominal job” and is “ingrained in the community,” having grown up in town. 

“It’s nice to see him recognized, he’s a very modest guy,” Daly said. 

Steve Pintarich, adjutant for the Southington American Legion post, said the local American Legion Officer of the Year award is given to someone who shows the “complete package” of a police officer, including being involved in the community outside of police work. 

The local post nominated LaPorte for the state award.  

Police officers can see a lot of bad things during their career, but they also see good things, LaPorte said, adding there is no better feeling than helping someone in need. He works with several community groups, including Bread for Life, STEPS, and the town’s Community Services Department. He also started and maintains neighborhood watch programs and is an advisor for the Police Cadet program. 

LaPorte said working with STEPS – Southington’s Townwide Effort to Promote Success – allows him to show children the dangers of substance abuse.

Pintarich said LaPorte is now in the running for the New England Officer of the Year award, which will be announced in January of February.  

lsellew@record-journal.com203-317-2225Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ


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