Police Chief Michael Lombardo was sworn in Wednesday night, before his family, officials and police officers from around the state.

After taking the oath of office, retired Chief Thomas Kiely passed the department flag to the new chief, symbolizing a change in leadership.

“I believe in fate,” First Selectman Tim Herbst said Wednesday night. “Chief Lombardo’s appointment was announced on Nov. 26, his birthday and the anniversary of the day he moved to Trumbull with his family.

“On this day, Jan. 7, in 1974, a young patrolman began his career in the town of Trumbull,” Herbst said of Kiely.

Lombardo served in the Wilton Police Department for 33 years, and was named chief in 2009.

The new chief said he was honored to serve after Kiely and that he was taking over a "superb" department.

“My roots in Trumbull give me a unique perspective,” Lombardo said. “Wilton is where I worked for many years and I’m grateful for that. But Trumbull is my home.”

His brother, Greenwich Police Lt. Robert Lombardo, pinned his brother’s badge on. Lombardo thanked his wife, Cathy, his children, Dana and Michael and his mother. He also honored the memory of his father, who passed away.

Herbst and Police Commission Chair Jack Testani both said they had faith in Lombardo’s leadership for the future of the department, which will include hiring a many new officers.

“We are not nearly changing leadership,” Herbst said. “In the next 10 years there will be a generational shift in our department.”

Testani said Lombardo was chosen out of a 100 candidates from around the country. He said his work ethic, his integrity, courage and emphasis on delegation and accountability were what made him stand above the others.

Testani also spoke to the changing landscape of police work and the challenges, saying Lombardo would serve as a good role model and leader.

“In police work, the more things evolve, the more they stay the same,” Testani said. “Although the challenges police must confront change, the fundamental responsibilities do not.”