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Police Department (more)
240 Kensington Rd
Berlin, CT 06037
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  • Phone: 
    (860) 828-7080
  • Fax: 
    (860) 828-7590
  • Staff Directory
  • Office Hours:
    Records Department:
    M-F 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Emergency: 24 Hours a Day
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In This Department

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Topics of Interest

Police Chiefs


In 1956, the Board of Police Commissioners appointed retired Connecticut State Police Sergeant Harold T. Strand to be the first Chief of Police for the new department. All constables were appointed to the position of supernumerary police officers. These supernumerary officers formed the basis of the town's police force.

Over the next decade the department grew and changed. In 1957, the town provided funds for four full-time police officers. In 1958, these officers completed a training course in Advanced Police Work sponsored by the New Britain Police Department. In 1959, the Board of Police Commissioners appointed a fifth full-time police officer and the department received a new teletype machine which linked with the Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island State Police. Berlin could now exchange information with other police departments and be made aware of stolen cars and wanted persons.

In 1960, the Board of Police Commissioners hired two more full-time officers and promoted one of the existing five to the rank of Sergeant. It also purchased another cruiser, bringing the department's fleet to three. In 1964, Police Headquarters was moved to the old Municipal Court Building in the Murray Heights Housing Project.

The Board of Police Commissioners purchased a station wagon and equipped it as an "Emergency Wagon" in 1966, as the department entered the emergency
transportation era. The police force now consisted of a Chief of Police, three Sergeants, nine patrolmen and three dispatchers.

Nineteen sixty-nine was a busy year. The Board of Police Commissioners promoted a Sergeant to the rank of Lieutenant. One officer was promoted to Detective and a second was named as Acting Detective. The Board of Police Commissioners appointed the department's first Chaplain, and a Mutual Aid Pact was signed with the towns which made up the Capitol Region.

Nineteen-seventy began as busy as 1969 ended. The Board of Police Commissioners added three more full-time officers to the force. Twelve more supernumerary officers were appointed. The Traffic Division was created and a full-time officer assigned to the unit. One officer was assigned to the position of Court Liaison and two others to the newly formed K-9 unit. The patrolmen assigned to the K-9 unit were joined by four-legged partners, Sampson and Thor. Along with new divisions and assignments came new equipment to aid the officers in their duties.

The Board of Police Commissioners purchased four walkie-talkies. Patrol cars were equipped with resuscitators and first aid kits. The department's first radar unit was purchased and quickly put into use. The department now consisted of a Chief of Police, one Lieutenant, three Sergeants, one Detective Sergeant, one Detective, fourteen patrolmen, three dispatchers, twenty-one supernumeraries and one clerk.

In 1972 four more officers were added to the department along with a second clerk to handle the additional paperwork generated by the officers in the field. The department now boasted nine police cars.

By 1973 the department had now grown to a force of twenty-six full-time police officers.

In 1974, the Board of Police Commissioners appointed the first female to the department, Arlene Lavianna, who assumed her position as a supernumerary officer.

May 15, 1975 saw the relocation of the police department from Murray Heights to the newly constructed Municipal Complex on Kensington Road. Along with the move came the creation of a Youth Officer position.

In 1976, the department added four more full-time officers. Since the new facilities provided for the housing of prisoners, it was necessary to create the position of matron. Four women were hired to share this duty on an as-needed basis.

Chief Robert E. Skinner retired in 1978 and the Board of Police Commissioners appointed Plainville Police Lieutenant Philip R. Buchanan to be Berlin's third Chief of Police.

Chief Philip R. Buchanan resigned from the department in 1980 and Lieutenant William B. Scalise was appointed as the department's fourth Chief of Police. This promotion lead to several other promotions within the department which were necessary to fill the newly created vacancies.

In 1988 a second female patrol officer was appointed to the department.

In November of 1988 the department was shocked by the sudden death of Chief William B. Scalise, who succumbed while helping to clear land to build a new VFW Post -- a dream for which he had worked long and hard to help bring to reality.

In 1989, the Board of Police Commissioners appointed Captain Gerald R. Charamut as the department's fifth Chief of Police. The department continued to grow over the next several years. The town was awarded Federal C.O.P.S. Grants to hire three additional police officers. Due to budget constraints however, when the grants reached expiration, only two officers were hired by the town.

In January of 2000, officers wore special badges commemorate to the Millennium.

On December 31, 2002, Chief Gerald Charamut retired after 34 years of service with the Berlin Police Department.

On July 1, 2003, the Police Department welcomed its 6th Chief of Police, with the appointment of Paul Fitzgerald. Chief Fitzgerald served 27 years with the Connecticut State Police and retired with the rank of Captain.