After a swearing in ceremony last night on the Palace Theater stage, Fernando Spagnolo Jr. is now officially police chief in the City of Waterbury. Photograph by Jennifer Rose

Spagnolo exits Our Lady of Lourdes Church on South Main Street in downtown Waterbury after a mass to begin the night’s celebration. Photograph by John Murray

Spagnolo received an emotional bear hug from his friend Giuseppe Pisani. Photograph by John Murray

Retiring State Representative Jeff Berger, a former Waterbury police officer, said one of his final acts as an elected official was congratulating Spagnolo. Photograph by John Murray

Spagnolo has been a Waterbury police officer since 1992 and continued the long line of Waterbury police chiefs who’ve een promoted from within the department. Photograph by John Murray

Waterbury’s new police chief was enveloped in a sea of hugs as the service spilled out of Our Lady of Lourdes Church.

Sergeant Dan Ferrucci, right, is Spagnolo’s aide and directed the procession from the church to the Palace Theater. Photograph by John Murray

Spagnolo’s son, William, provided added entertainment to a terrific night in his father’s life. Photograph by John Murray

The procession from Our Lady of Lourdes Church to the Palace Theater was quite a spectacle and business owners and downtown residents came out of the street to watch it pass by. Photograph by John Murray

The color guard for the Waterbury Police Department led the procession through the streets of downtown Waterbury. Photograph by John Murray

Waterbury police officers file into the Palace Theater. Photograph by John Murray

It was a wonderful night for Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary who was sworn in as the city’s top cop 15 years ago, and as Waterbury’s mayor in December 2011. Both ceremonies were inside the Palace Theater. Photograph by Jennifer Rose

As police commissioners, elected officials and dignitaries looked on, Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary administered the oath of office to Fred Spagnolo. Photograph by Waterbury police officer Andrea Saunders

After a 26 year career that included stints in patrol, the motorcycle unit, vice and intelligence, aide to the police chief, spokesman, and deputy chief, Fred Spagnolo is now the city’s top cop. Photograph by Anthony D’Amelio