Story By John Murray

Waterbury Police Chief Vernon Riddick broke the news today that he will be leaving the city and taking the job of police chief in West Hartford starting on June 4th. Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary told the Observer tonight that he will name Deputy Police Chief Fred Spagnolo the acting chief when Riddick leaves.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity,” Spagnolo said. “This is a job that has interested me for a long time and I am dedicated to the police department and the people of Waterbury. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

When Spagnolo (pictured here) assumes the role of acting chief, the city will launch a process to hire a permanent chief, who O’Leary fully expects to come from inside the Waterbury Police Department. Candidates will put together their portfolios and qualifications and face a rigorous oral exam from a panel of police chiefs (two from CT and one from outside the state). The top three candidate’s names will be submitted to the mayor and he will make the final decision.

“Waterbury has a long history of hiring from within the department,” O’Leary said. “We have a strong bench and we like to give opportunities to officers who have made their way up the ranks.”

Best wishes to Fred Spagnolo and all the candidates who apply to be Waterbury’s top cop.