by Christopher Annino
On October 30th at the Radisson Hotel, New London, the New London Police Department (NLPD) celebrated its 140th anniversary. The CT Police Union, Congressman Joe Courtney and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal attended the festivities. “This is an historic milestone for the department,” said Marshall “Chip” Segar of the NLPD.
During the celebration Congressman Joe Courtney, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, and State Comptroller Nancy Wyman presented Officers Joshua Bergeson, Douglass Williams, John Manavas, Kevin McBride, Jose Olivero, Leslie Smith, and Marshall Segar with the CT Wartime Service Medals.
A strong supporter of the Community Oriented Policing Service program, the NLPD and local area veterans, Congressman Joe Courtney expressed, “I feel that having an event, which reflects on the service that the men and women of the NLPD, is tremendous. They give so much to our community. We live at a time of war, as a country we have to support each other especially the people who protect.”
The NLPD was established after the Civil War. Prior to this, locals were selected a as a constable. During the mid 1800’s, the New London community established a “night watch,” because locals refused to pay taxes.
When Hiram Willey became Mayor in 1862, he instituted a watch system for the city. It started with a three member police committee and eventually led to hiring eight men. The men were given clubs, bells, sockets and badges, and they worked out of an apartment. New London’s first modern police station was built on the eastside of Potter Street, and was used from 1868 and 1898. The brave men and women of the NLPD served and protected the people of New London for 140 years.