Christmas comes early in Madison - new Police Chief named
By Rita Papazian, Special to the Times
Published: Monday, December 21, 2009
MADISON - Santa arrived early in Madison this week and brought the town a gift of its new police chief, John "Jack" Drumm, who leaves his position as Chief of Police at nearby Groton Long Point, to head the townís police department following a tumultuous few years of scandal, police personnel dismissals and departures.
The new police chiefís contract is for five years beginning Jan. 1 with a first year salary of $101,147 pro-rated for the 2010 fiscal year ending in June. The Police Commission will determine the subsequent annual salary based on the Chief of Policeís annual evaluation, according to the contract.
Following a unanimous voted at a joint meeting of the Police Commission and Board of Selectmen and the swearing in ceremony at the Police Department Monday morning, the new chief said he was "happy the community has put its trust in me to move the department forward."
Chief Drumm addressed a packed audience of town officials, local and state police personnel, as well as friends and family, including his father Clarence Drumm, retired police chief of the East Hartford Police Department. In his remarks, the new chief, related a story of when he was 12 years old and waiting for the coach to select him for the baseball team. The coach did not pick him and he was later to learn that the reason the coach did not select him was because Drummís father, a police officer at the time, had charged the coach with drunk driving.
Drumm never forgot that story and it has guided him in his approach both personally and professionally in his "passion for fair play." He is a firm believer in good behavior and good character, the latter he described as "behavior when no one is watching.
"This department is a good department and it will be one of the best small departments in the state," the new chief said. "We are who we are in the world because of the support of the people around us" and this department is there to "keep you safe. Man, letís go to work."
During the swearing in ceremony conducted by Emile Geisenheimer, chairman of the Police Commission, who described the event as a "big milestone." Drummís parents, his wife Heather and his brother Clifford and his sister Cindy Agostino sat in the last row in the training room surrounded by many police personnel who have known Drumm for many of his professional years.
During a brief interview, the elder Drumm, 81, a Glastonbury resident, recalled coming to Madison to work on a dairy farm on the Post Road when he was 15 years old. "I played golf at the golf course and Iíve stayed at the Madison Beach Hotel," said the former police chief reminiscing about his fond memories of the town.
He said his sonís new appointment was " a grand challenge and heís capable of meeting the challenge." Acknowledging his own "self-serving" comments, the elder Drumm said his son will be "a great asset to the community. Number one, heís thoroughly honest and number two, he wonít tolerate anything but."
Chief Jack Drumm began his law enforcement career in 1979, when he joined the Connecticut State Police where he served for 25 years. During his tenure he worked in and supervised numerous investigative units, including the State Police Gang Task Force and the Hartford Auto Theft Task Force. He also served as an undercover officer for the New Haven Federal Gang Task Force during the gang takedown initiatives of the early 90s.
During his career, Chief Drumm served as the Executive Officer and Second in Command of two of the busiest State Police Troops in Connecticut; Hartford and Westbrook barracks. At the time of his retirement from the State Police, Chief Drumm was one of the stateís highest decorated police officers. Among his decorations are three commendations for "Outstanding Police Service," three commendations for "Meritious Service," and one of the State Policeís highest honors, the "Medal for Bravery." Two of the commendations were for his involvement in two separate actions, both of which resulted in the apprehension of two extremely violent criminals.
Following his retirement from the State Police, Chief Drumm served overseas with the U.S. Department of State (USDOS) sponsored security initiatives including operations manager for port security in the West Indies.
Chief Drumm earned a Bachelorís degree in political science from Central Connecticut State College and a Masterís in Business from St. Josephís College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the 90th Training Troop of the Connecticut State Police and a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.
First Selectman Fillmore MacPherson said, "We are very pleased to have Chief Drumm join our ranks and look forward to his service."