Family and friends were on hand Thursday afternoon as five police officers were promoted during an hour-long ceremony at Police Department headquarters.
The five were: Sgt. Ryan Paulsson and Sgt. Jillian Cabana, promoted to the rank of lieutenant; Officers David Wolf and Matthew Gouveia, promoted to the rank of sergeant, and Officer Marc Heinmiller, promoted to detective.
"It's an honor to be here," said First Selectman Jim Marpe, who officiated. "Westport citizens enjoy an outstanding quality of life because of you and your colleagues who put your lives on the line everyday."
Chief Dale Call addressed the five officers being promoted. "Leadership is hard," he said, referring to the new roles the five will be taking on. "Leadership is not learned, you learn it as you live it." He said some of the things they do performing their new jobs can "piss people off.
"Many people say don't sweat the details," he said. "Those are people who never worked in a police department."
Call also told them they will make mistakes, "but that's not the end of the world."
And, of the responsibilities of leadership, he added, "The days of being one of the guys end when you get promoted."
A video showcasing photos of police personnel in action was shown before the ceremony began.
Capt. Samuel Arciola led off the ceremony by giving a brief biography of the five being promoted. Following are their backgrounds:
- Paulsson was hired in December 2000 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2012. Paulsson was the department's "bloodhound handler" for ten years and has supervised the K-9 Unit since 2010. Paulsson serves as a tactical officer with the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team, and is a member of the Westport police/fire dive-rescue team and the Marine Division. He is a certified law-enforcement instructor in numerous disciplines.
He also is a trustee with the Westport Police Benevolent Association and is chairman of the department's Awards Committee. He has received numerous department awards, including a Meritorious Police Duty Award for locating an endangered missing person in 2008.
Paulsson holds a bachelor's degree in justice and law administration from Western Connecticut State University.
- Cabana, hired in May 2006, was promoted to the rank of detective in August 2009 and to sergeant in January 2013. She is the domestic violence liaison for the Police Department. She has received several department awards, including the Meritorious Police Duty Award.
Cabana is a graduate of the University of New Haven with a bachelors degree in criminal justice. She is currently working toward earning a master's degree in criminal justice.
- Wolf, hired in August 2001, has served as a field training officer and DARE officer. He is currently the coordinator of the department's Crisis Intervention Team, a crisis negotiator with the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team, and member of the department's bicycle squad. Wolf is a certified law enforcement instructor in search and seizure, civil liability and eyewitness identification.
He earned a bachelor's degree from Franklin and Marshall College and a master's degree in health-care administration from Western Connecticut State University. He is entering his final year at the University of Connecticut School Of Law.
- Gouveia was hired in January 2008 and is a recipient of the Chief Samuel J. Luciano Award for academic excellence, awarded by the Connecticut Chiefs of Police Association (and named for the former Westport police chief) as well as a Chief's Commendation from the Police Department.
Gouveia received his bachelors degree in criminal justice from Roger Williams University and his Juris Doctor from the Roger Williams University School of Law. Gouveia is a member of the bar in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
- Heinmiller was promoted to the rank of detective.
He was hired in October 2003 and was a K-9 handler for five years until the retirement of his dog, Lola, in 2012. He has also served as a field training officer and a member of the Marine Division and Honor Guard. He has received numerous departmental awards, including a Lifesaving Award. He holds a bachelor's degree from Western Connecticut State University.