WESTPORT—The police department promoted six officers at a ceremony Dec. 14.

The promotions came after several months of competitive testing and a vacancy left by Deputy Chief Vincent Penna’s retirement. Lieutenants David Farrell and Ryan Paulsson were promoted to the rank of captain, Sergeants Matthew Gouveia and David Wolf were promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and Detective Sharon Russo and Cpl. Erin Shaw were promoted to sergeant and detective, respectively.

“The Westport police department is one of the finest police departments in the country. I truly believe that,” Chief Foti Koskinas said. “As you take more and more responsibility it is really a true indication of the quality of who you are and your commitment as you go higher up in this great organization.”

During the ceremony in the Town Hall auditorium, Rabbi Danny Moss from Temple Israel gave the invocation and Staples High School student Georgia Wright sang the national anthem. First Selectman Jim Marpe also commended the newly-promoted officers.

“Our community can be a beacon of how police work should be conducted,” Marpe said.

One of the new captains, Farrell joined the department as a patrolman in 2001 and with his promotion will be commander of the department’s patrol division and detective bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Connecticut and resides in Fairfield with his wife, Alison, and daughters, Olivia and Jocelyn.

The other new captain, Paulsson, hired as a patrolman in 2000, currently works as commander of the dive rescue team and as supervisor for the K9 unit and the department’s marine division. Paulsson has a bachelor’s degree in justice and law administration from Western Connecticut State University and lives in Milford with his wife and two daughters.

Hired in 2001, Wolf, is the coordinator for both the departments’ field training officer program and its crisis intervention team. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Franklin & Marshall College and a law degree from the University of Connecticut. A resident of Oxford, Wolf and his wife have five children.

Fellow newly-promoted sergeant, Gouveia also has a law degree. Hired in 2008, he holds a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice from Roger Williams University, where he also received his law degree.

A former paralegal for a family real estate attorney in town, Russo became an officer in 2008 and has a paralegal litigation certificate from University of Connecticut.

Shaw holds a Bachelor of Science in therapeutic recreation with a minor in health studies from the University of Southern Maine and joined the department in 2008.

svaughan@hearstmediact.com; @SophieCVaughan1