The City of New London will soon have a new police chief, but he is a familiar face. Captain Brian Wright, who is now acting chief of the department, will officially be promoted to chief next month.
Wright joined the New London Police Department in 1994. Since then, he has served in almost every position in the department. He became the acting chief last month when Chief Peter Reichard announced his retirement.
Chief Reichard's contract ends June 30. According to Mayor Michael Passero, a promotion ceremony for Wright will be held shortly after in July.
"Building trust in this community for our police department, in the face of what is happening nationally, is going to be the biggest challenge," said Passero. "I believe, firmly, that Brian Wright is the man for the job."
The change in leadership comes as people in New London and across the country call for police accountability.
Wright said that he is aware of and accepts the challenges. He stressed the importance of dialogue, transparency and trust.
“Our greatest goal is to develop stronger relationships and dialogue. Communication is very important from all aspects," said Wright. "Conversation is key. It is important to have that dialogue even in those conversations that are uncomfortable.”
Wright also helped lead the mayor's public safety policy review board last year. He hopes to help implement some of the recommendations from the board.
"Our community has spoken and it is imperative that we take that insight and try to implement it and improve things," said Wright.
Wright will make history in his role as the city's first Black police chief.
“I believe it gives me a pertinent perspective and I can use life experience in conversations that I have had with people who might not necessarily be willing or able to speak to other people," said Wright.
Wright added that he hopes to build trust between the department and the entire community. He also wants to recruit a more diverse and inclusive agency.
“Hopefully my promotion and my job here will give preview to some young people who may not have considered this as a profession, as neither did I growing up, but will say I can do that too," said Wright.