By John Murray

   Vernon Riddick has been a busy man the past eight days.

   On September 12th he attended the funeral service of Fortune, the former slave in Waterbury whose skeleton was on display for 170 years. During Fortune’s burial in Riverside Cemetery a woman injured herself climbing a steep hill walking towards the gravesite. Riddick left the service to check on the woman, and then walked back to pay his respects to Fortune.

   Four days later, Vernon Riddick was chosen to lead the Waterbury Police Department, becoming the first African-American to ascend to “top cop” in the city. Riddick acknowledged the black officers that paved the way for his career in Waterbury, and Mayor Neil O’Leary described Riddick as a tremendous role model.

   The next day Riddick participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting at Webster Bank, and during the past 48 hours the police have been working non-stop trying to solve a shooting on Walnut Street.

Being a police officer is filled with mix of wonder, and horror, and in the past week Vernon Rddick has seen it all.