Robert Rizzitelli Sworn In as New Canaan Police Officer


Robert Rizzitelli, a 25-year-old Monroe man now on track to become the newest member of the New Canaan Police Department, was born into a family of law enforcement.

Town Clerk Claudia Weber (foreground) signs in Robert Rizzitelli as a New Canaan Police officer recruit while Police Chief Leon Krolikowski (L) and Sgt. Brian Mitchell look on. Dec, 20, 2017, at Lapham Community Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

The Bridgeport native’s father is a detective sergeant with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, his grandfather and uncle both served with Bridgeport Police Department and one of his cousins is with Trumbull Police Department, according to New Canaan Police Sgt. Brian Mitchell, the department’s training sergeant.

“His heritage has instilled in him the morals and values that are integral to this profession,” Mitchell said on Wednesday morning from the front of a room in Lapham Community Center for Rizzitelli’s swearing-in ceremony.

Robert Rizzitelli signing Town Clerk’s documents during a swearing-in ceremony as a New Canaan Police Officer recruit—Dec. 20, 2017 at Lapham Community Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

About 30 town officials, police, media members, friends and family attended the ceremony, including First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Selectman Kit Devereaux and Town Clerk Claudia Weber, who administered the Oath of Office.

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said that he identified with Rizzitelli “as a rookie employee in New Canaan.”

“I’ve been in my job about a month and I can tell you it’s a great place to work,” he said. “I welcome you to New Canaan. I welcome you to the family—I see that the police department really is a family. So I look forward to seeing you progress and I wish you all the best with your training and in the future as an officer with our force.”

Rizzitelli is a Masuk High School graduated who attended the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point campus in Groton and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Pace University in New York. He played professional baseball for one year in an independent league in New Mexico and most recently worked as a clinical recruiter at a Trumbull-based company that provides in-house physician recruitment and HR services for healthcare organizations.

Robert Rizzitelli with his parents John and Linda, at a swearing-in ceremony as a New Canaan Police Officer recruit—Dec. 20, 2017 at Lapham Community Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

Mitchell, who facilitates the recruitment testing and selection of new NCPD officers, said that in speaking with Rizzitelli’s supervisor at MedPath, “it became readily apparent that Robert handled his responsibilities as a clinical recruiter there with hard work and dedication.”

Rizzitelli will head to Meriden as part of the Connecticut Police Academy’s 360th training session starting Dec. 29, Mitchell said. There, he will undergo some 871 hours of state-mandated curriculum over six months, covering

laws and arrest, criminal and motor vehicle law, use of firearms, defensive tactics and first responder skills. On graduating from the Academy, Rizzitelli will undergo at least 400 hours of training with New Canaan Police prior to going on certified probationary status.

Police Chief Leon Krolikowski noted that Rizzitelli emerged as an “exceptional candidate” from among a field of 79 applicants.

“Many challenges and changes lie ahead for our department and our profession, but with men like Robert joining our ranks, I see great success as we fulfill our mission to protect and serve the town of New Canaan,” Krolikowski said.

The chief closed the ceremony by telling Rizzitelli: “Robert, the badge you were just issued represents public trust. The public willingly puts this work I your hands and they trust you will take care of them in the proper manner. They do not want this responsibility for themselves, they want to give it to you. But they also want you to get it right. My charge to you today is to do just that. To get it right. We all have heard and read about the stories of officers who get it wrong. Sadly, we rarely hear the overwhelmingly positive stories of officers who get it right each and every day. Remember that not everyone will automatically understand what you are doing as a police officer or why you make certain decisions. Realize that there will be times when your actions will be the biggest and most important thing that has ever happened in someone’s life. My final charge to you today is to protect your credibility, your department’s credibility and maintain your honor. In closing, I would welcome you and your family. Our department and the entire New Canaan community wishes you the best, and we are most grateful to have you with us. Welcome to New Canaan and congratulations.”

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