Emergency Response Team History

The Team’s History 1990-Present

The Newington Police Department’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) was founded in 1990 after a hostage incident and shooting in Town. The team was approved by Chief Thomas Ganley who named Lieutenant William “Bill” Cotter as the first Team Commander. Lieutenant Cotter began the team’s selection process that tested each applicant’s suitability mentally and physically. Lieutenant Cotter established contact with the New Haven Connecticut F.B.I. SWAT team who agreed to provide the basic training for the unit. From that basic training course the team began to train on a regular basis to improve their skill levels. View our photo gallery of our team doing drills.

Since 1990 the Team Has Had a Series of Exceptional Team Commanders:

Name
Start Date
End Date
Lieutenant William Cotter
1990
March 11, 1994
Lieutenant Nicholas Miano
March 11, 1994
April 10, 2001
Lieutenant Stephen Clark
April 04, 2001
January 2006
Lieutenant William Darby
January 27, 2006
May 14, 2010
Lieutenant John Johnson
May 14, 2010
April 30, 2012
Lieutenant Nicholas Miano
April 30, 2012
November 12, 2012
Lieutenant William Jameson
November 12, 2012
Present

In Addition to the Team Commanders the Team Has Been Led by the Following Team Leaders

Name Start Date
End Date
Sergeant Frederick Casioppo
1990
September 1990
Sergeant Nicholas Miano
September 1990
March 1994
Sergeant Steven Clark
December 1994
December 1996
Sergeant John Johnson
December 1996
December 2006
Sergeant Brendan Moon
December 2006
October 2011
Sergeant William Jameson
November 2011
October 2012
Sergeant Jason Saccente
October 2012
Present

1990s

From 1990 until March of 1994 Chief Thomas Ganley and the Emergency Response Team (ERT) members worked diligently to build and equip the team. The department was able to add a surplus Ambulance to the fleet to serve as the ERT main transport vehicle and mobile command post. Additional equipment such as uniforms, hardware, and other items were secured through the Federal Surplus Program (1033) and through many fund raising events conducted by team members.

In 1991 Officers John Johnson and Robert Womer were trained as the team’s first snipers by the FBI. In early 1993 Officer Michael Tkac took over as the departmental sniper after Officer Johnson was promoted to sergeant. Over the following years the following officers served as departmental snipers:

Name
Start Date
End Date
Officer John Johnson
1991
1993
Officer Robert Womer
1991
1998
Sergeant Michael Tkac
1993
2006
Master Police Officer Raymond Reynolds
1998
2000
Master Police Officer James Johnson
July 1998
2013
Officer Ryan Deane November 2008
Present
Officer Timothy Rinaldo
2013
Present

Sniper Team

The current team are active members of the American Sniper Association and have competed in the Crosshairs Incorporated New England Police Sniper competition in Harvard MA., the Connecticut SWAT Challenge, and compete yearly at the Snipercraft Sniper week, a national police sniper competition held in St. Petersburg FL. The current team members have been trained in basic, advanced, urban sniper, other sniper disciplines and train monthly with ERT unit. The team has received training from the FBI, Snipercraft Inc., Sigarms Inc., and Crosshairs Inc.

Chief Richard Klett

Chief Richard Klett was appointed Chief of Police in July of 1994 and continued to support the ERT mission with manpower and equipment. During this time period Data Mail (a private company in Town) made a donation of $10,000 to the ERT for outfitting the ERT’s vehicle. In 2002 the Town purchased a new equipment trailer to house the team’s equipment. Chief Klett began planning with the Fire and EMS services to create a mobile command post that would be used at ERT incidents. The vehicle, a 2001 Winnebago, was purchased in 2001 and is known as CP-8. Chief Klett retired in December 2001.

Chief Richard Mulhall

Chief Richard Mulhall was appointed Chief of Police in April of 2002 and carried on the tradition of full support of the ERT mission. In 2003 Chief Mulhall worked with the Capital Region Chiefs of Police to secure Homeland funding for the eight regional SWAT/ERT units. The Chiefs of Police Association efforts have resulted in the coordination of the eight teams within the Capital Region. With that coordination each teams’ equipment has been upgraded including new ballistic helmets with state of the art communications gear, standard radio systems and frequencies  that allow all teams to communicate with each other, tactical vests, medical kits, ballistic shields, pole cameras, eye ball cameras, night vision equipment, tactical ballistic blankets, long range acoustical devices (LRADX), and other equipment. On January 27, 2006 Chief Mulhall named Lieutenant William Darby to be the 4th team commander of the unit. Lieutenant Darby retired from the department on May 28, 2010 and Chief Mulhall named Lieutenant John Johnson as the 5th Team Commander of the unit. Lieutenant Nicholas Miano took over as commander of the unit once again for a brief period in 2012 upon the retirement of Lieutenant Johnson. Lieutenant William Jameson became the 7th Team Commander in late 2012 and currently serves in that capacity.

Equipment

Currently the Newington ERT unit is equipped with state of the art equipment and weapons. The officers are equipped with handguns, MP-5 machine guns, AR15 type rifles, state of the art sniper equipment, chemical resources, Tasers and other emergency equipment.

Incidents

Over the years the ERT has responded to many incidents and here are a few summary examples of team activations:

  • Armed barricaded persons at local businesses, apartment complexes, and private homes. The suspects were taken into custody and handguns, shotguns, rifles, and knifes were seized.
  • Search Warrants - narcotics where narcotics were recovered along with handguns, rifles, shotguns were seized.
  • Armed suicidal person at local motel complexes. The suspects was taken into custody and transported to hospital for emergency committal and handguns, shotguns were recovered.
  • Area search for armed suspect - assist other department. The suspect was found dead of self inflicted gun shot.
  • Area search for armed suspect who murdered an East Hartford Police Officer. Area searched with negative results. The suspects were apprehended days later.
  • Search and Arrest warrant assist to IRS. The suspect was taken into custody and turn over to Federal Authorities.
  • Murdered police officer at a domestic at a private home. The suspect barricaded himself into the home and fired at responding officers with a high powered rifle. Team sniper was able to wound the individual who latter took his own life. The murder weapon and other weapons were seized.

Chief Stephen Clark

Chief Stephen Clark was appointed Chief of Police in July of 2015. Chief Clark is one of the original 8 members of the ERT formed in 1990.  During his tenure with the team Chief Clark was an Operator, Team Leader, and Team Commander.  After his retirement Chief Clark became a Captain with the Vernon Police Department where he was appointed Team Commander for the Capital Region Emergency Services Team (CREST).  Chief Clark brings his extensive knowledge in tactical operations back to Newington with his appointment as Chief.  Chief Clark is fully committed to support of the ERT for many years to come.

2018 Current Team Members

  • Lieutenant William Jameson - Team Commander
  • Sergeant Jason Saccente - Team Leader
  • Sergeant Christopher Perry - Assistant Team Leader
  • Officer Paul Camara - Entry Team Operator
  • Officer Henry Rodriguez - Entry Team Operator
  • Sergeant Ryan Deane - Sniper/Observer
  • Sergeant Derek Aivano - Entry Team Operator
  • Officer Timothy Buggee - Entry Team Operator
  • Officer Timothy Rinaldo - Sniper/Observer
  • Officer Eric Petlik - Entry Team Operator/K9 Handler
  • Detective Laurence DeSimone - Entry Team Operator
  • Officer Brendon LaChance - Entry Team Operator
  • Sergeant Kenneth O’Brien - Crisis Negotiator Supervisor
  • Officer Daniel Kaufmann - Crisis Negotiator
  • Officer Jamie DeSimone - Crisis Negotiator

Former Members

  • Lieutenant William Cotter - Team Commander (1990)
  • Lieutenant Frederick Casioppo - Team Leader (1990)
  • Lieutenant Nicholas Miano - Team Commander and Team Leader (2012)
  • Lieutenant Steven Clark - Team Commander and Team Operator (2006)
  • Lieutenant William Darby - Team Commander (2010)
  • Lieutenant John Johnson - Team Commander and Team Leader (2012)
  • Sergeant Brendan Moon - Team Leader (2011)
  • Sergeant Claude Steiner - Operator
  • Sergeant Christopher Perry - Operator
  • Sergeant Geoffrey Anderson - Asst. Team Leader
  • Sergeant Michael Tkac - Sniper/Observer
  • Sergeant James LoStocco - Asst Team Leader
  • Sergeant John Zematis - Operator
  • Sergeant William Jordan - Operator
  • Detective Anthony Casasanta - Operator
  • Detective Daniel Reed - Operator
  • Master Police Officer Robert Womer - Operator
  • Master Police Officer James Horan - Operator
  • Master Police Officer Brian Gallagher - Operator
  • Master Police Officer Raymond Reynolds - Sniper/Observer
  • Master Police Officer James Johnson (2013)
  • Officer James Doyle - Operator
  • Officer Paul Boutot - Operator
  • Officer Brendan Fitzgerald - Operator
  • Officer Jeffrey Wagner - Entry Team Operator
  • Officer Reza Abbassi - Operator
  • Officer Ciara McDermott - Crisis Negotiator
  • Detective Ronald Manzione - Crisis Negotiator
  • Master Police Officer Brian Skehan - Crisis Negotiator
  • Master Police Officer John DiNardi - Crisis Negotiator

We thank all of the officers that have been involved with our Emergency Response Team.