LITCHFIELD — With Chief Joseph O’Brion retiring from his post later this month, a new police chief has been selected to take the helm.
Capt. Benjamin Sargent of the Litchfield Police Department has been chosen as the town’s new police chief, effective Dec. 22.
O’Brion previously informed town officials of his upcoming retirement, and selectmen opted to search for the chief’s replacement internally before looking elsewhere.
“He is very proud of the department that he has built, and the staff that he has recruited,” Town Administrator Troy Brown said of O’Brion.
O’Brion has worked for the town for 24 years, serving as its police chief for the last 15 years.
“He has worked hard, and his efforts are shown every day in this community,” said Brown, adding O’Brion is leaving his post with his head held high.
Selectman Steven Webber agreed, saying Litchfield is fortunate to have had such a great chief for so many years.
“He is a good man. He is going to be missed,” echoed F. Robert Leary, selectman.
The Board of Selectmen chose Sargent to replace the longtime chief.
“The board was very supportive of him,” Brown said of Sargent. The chief’s new contract was officially approved on Nov. 25 by town officials.
Webber, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, said Sargent has helped O’Brion run and build the local police department for the past few years, adding it should be a seamless transition; Sargent is currently the second-in-command.
“He will be a fantastic chief, in my opinion,” Webber said of Sargent.
Selectman Kevin Lynch agreed, saying he has been impressed with Sargent’s professionalism, describing the future police chief as a strong “people person” who is ideal for the job.
Lynch also thanked O’Brion for his many years of service to the community.