WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH)-- A celebration in Waterbury Friday night, as the new police chief was sworn in. And this marks a first for the city.
From Bristol to Wolcott, officers to chiefs, family to state leaders, more than a thousand people showed up to the swearing in of the new chief of Waterbury police, Vernon Riddick.
A man with a strong faith in God, he started his first day in church.
"It has been a life long ambition of mine and God has blessed me and the outpouring is overwhelming," said Chief Vernon Riddick.
While the mayor and city leaders marched with the new chief to be sworn in at the palace theater, crowds gathered to watch as the pipes played.
"I am very proud of my husband. He is my hero and my mentor. He worked hard and he deserves this," said Sandra Riddick.
"He sets high standards for me and I am pretty proud of my father," said Vanessa Riddick.
Not only is the chief the first African American chief in Waterbury but he is also one of the tallest in his department at 6'6" tall. He is also one of the youngest chiefs at 47-years--old, and he is looking forward to the honor of serving.
"My vision is to increase technology, be more data driven, as well as increasing our community relations division," said Riddick.
Vernon Riddick is the 21st chief to serve the city of Waterbury. He scored number one on the chief's test out of all the applicants and inspires others by his leadership.
"He deserves the job, hard worker and it shows what hard work and determination will get you. And I hope to follow in his footsteps one day," said Detective Reggie Early, Hartford Police Department.
"He was the highest ranking African American in the department's history and he has shown he is a leader, the most qualified candidate for the job in the city," said Mayor O'Leary.
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