Deputy Chief Ventura named Wallingford’s new police chief

WALLINGFORD — Deputy Chief John Ventura will succeed the retiring William Wright as the town’s new police chief, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. announced on Monday.

Ventura “possesses the knowledge, experience and temperament to lead our police department," Dickinson said in a statement released by his office.

Wright will retire by July 1 to become director of operations at Choate Rosemary Hall. He announced his intention to retire in April.

Dickinson had hoped to name a new chief by July 1. The job was posted for internal candidates April 13, a week after Wright announced his retirement, and closed April 23. Dickinson’s statement did not disclose Ventura’s salary as chief or his start date. The advertised annual salary for police chief ranged from $117,933 to $150,898.

Ventura and Dickinson did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

The 40-year-old Ventura was promoted to deputy chief in 2019, after being named a lieutenant in 2015, a detective sergeant in 2012, detective in 2006 and starting work as a patrol officer in 2003. He served as team commander of the 17-member Wallingford Cheshire Emergency Response Team and supervised the Police Department Community Impact Unit, according to Dickinson’s statement. 

Ventura attended Stonehill College and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. He has almost finished ongoing studies for a Master's Degree in Public Administration at Albertus Magnus College and is a graduate of the Executive Development program at Roger Williams University.

Ventura was the town’s sole internal candidate for the position, Wright has said.

Wallingford is also looking to find a new fire chief. Former Fire Chief Richard Heidgerd retired April 9. After a weeklong vacation, he began a new job as the Wallingford Public Library's facilities manager, maintaining the library building and grounds.

The town posted the job internally April 1 and closed applications April 19.

The acting fire chief is Joe Czentnar, the deputy fire chief in charge of administration and operations. The other deputy chief is Sam Wilson, who oversees EMS and training for the fire department.

nsambides@record-journal.com203-317-2279Twitter: @JrSambides


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