Waterbury to Swear in City’s First African-American Police Chief

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    Since 1994, Vernon L. Riddick Jr. has been rising through the ranks of the Waterbury police department and tonight, he will be sworn in as the first African-American chief of the city’s police department.

    Riddick, a lifelong Waterbury resident, has served as acting chief.

    He graduated from Kennedy High School in Waterbury.

    He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Tufts University, attended Rutgers Law School and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration Degree from Post University.

    Riddick has served as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain and deputy chief of the department and worked in many divisions, including patrol, internal affairs and the Department’s Emergency Response Team, or SWAT team.

    He is vice-president of the Waterbury Police Activity League and a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association’s Command Institute.

    A church service will be held at 4:45 pm at the Grace Baptist Church, at 65 Kingsbury Street. Then, Chief Riddick will lead a procession south on North Elm Street and west on East Main Street to the Palace Theater for the swearing in ceremony at 6 p.m. at the Palace Theater, at 120 East Main Street in Waterbury.