State commissioners honor Trumbull police chief

Trumbull Police Chief Michael Lombardo exemplifies what a modern police chief should be, according to Police Commission Chairman Ray Baldwin. One of the state’s top police associations agrees.

The Police Commissioners Association of Conecticut recently honored Lombardo at its Distinguished Chiefs dinner. The group cited Lombardo for his “leadership, dedication, service to his community, and extraordinary commitment to law enforcement and the community.” The other two honorees were Westport Chief Foti Koskinas and Danbury Chief Patruck Ridenhour.

The PCAC is comprised of elected and appointed police commissioners from Connecticut municipalities, with a mission “to provide a link between professional law enforcement officers and the public,” according to the group. Trumbull Police Commissioner John Vazzano is the association’s second vice president, and Commissioner Angelo Magliocco is listed as one of the group’s directors.

Lombardo spent three decades with the Wilton Police Department before being named Trumbull chief in 2014. He said he was honored to receive the award, and said he accepted on behalf of the department’s officers.

“[The honor] belongs to the officers that work day-in and day-out to protect the community of Trumbull,” he said.

Baldwin, who spent 14 years on the Trumbull Police Department before starting a legal and political career, said Lombardo struck a tough balance in his multi-faceted job responsibilities.

“He’s smart, totally professional, and he has the respect of the rank-and-file and a good working relationship with the administration,” Baldwin said.

Since taking over the department, Baldwin said Lombardo has focused on improving the equipment and training for the department’s officers.

“As an officer you want a chief that’s going to have your back,” Baldwin said citing the job stresses that police officers endure. “You want a mentor, someone who listens. It’s inevitable that you’ll run into difficulties, and it’s good to know you’ve got support.”

The guest speaker at the dinner was retired New York City Police Detective and author Ralph Friedman, who spoke on the transformation of policing in recent years. His book, “Street Warrior,” related to his time serving as a young officer in the 1970’s, and led to his distinction as the city’s most decorated officer.