The Berlin Police Dept. is back up to full strength as one officer was sworn in on July 8 and the other was approved by the Berlin Police Commission at its next meeting Aug. 4.
John Flynn, a Berlin resident and 20-year veteran of the New Britain Police Dept. where we he retired as a Sergeant, was sworn in on Monday, July 8.
"He retired as a Sergeant from New Britain but will start as a Patrol Officer here," Berlin Deputy Chief John Klett said. "It is a huge savings to the department when we can bring in a guy like John because he is already certified and we don't have to pay to put him through the academy.
"The only thing John needs to get up to speed on a little bit is his medical training. In New Britain, police officers are not considered first responders like we are in Berlin. We have Officer Jim Gosselin and Officer Cruickshank in house so that they can train him from the medical side."
Flynn, a Berlin resident since 2003, is also a member of the Berlin Lions Club.
"I never thought I'd be a Berlin officer when my retirement was coming up," Flynn said. "A friend of mine called me and told me there were two openings. I put in my application and the timing just hit right. I'm starting at ground zero and learning something new every day.
"People might think coming from New Britain to Berlin would be easy but its a completely different form of law enforcement. In New Britain we are reacting to calls while here in Berlin it is more proactive. There is a lot more community and preventative policing.
"One thing I definitely like is that you get to see your cases through where in New Britain it was just handed off to another division. I'm excited about this because Berlin is a great town and I'm glad to be serving the town that has been so good to me and my family for the last 10 years."
"Thomas Blake is a retired officer from the Connecticut State Police, Troop A in Southbury after 20 years," Klett said of Blake. "He was also a K-9 handler when he was in the state police."
Klett said the department is now fully supported.
"We are at full strength right now," Klett said. "We are in the process of obtaining others who are interested in the job so that we have a list for entry level officers in the future. The application process to get on that list was June 26. Dispatch is also at full strength so we should be in good shape for a while now."