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History of the Naugatuck Police Department

The Borough of Naugatuck was incorporated in 1844 from Mattatuck, which is known today as Waterbury. The Town and Borough were consolidated in 1893 and ratified in 1895. After the construction of the train station and the booming commercial industry that had moved into the town and surrounding area, there became a great need for an organized police department.

In 1893, Naugatuck had seen its very first Chief of Police, George D Hosford and three regular sworn officers. Prior to having an organized police department, Naugatuck required the service of men in the role of constables and night watchmen.

In 1898, due to a ruling by the town Warden and Burgesses the police department was reorganized and Officer John B Schmidt was promoted to Chief of Police, along with three newly sworn officers, Anthony T. Malone, Lawrence Farrell and Samuel Grant. During this time, the police department utilized the position of Auxiliary and Supernumerary officers to assist with patrolling the Borough's properties. Many of these officers would provide their services after or before working a full time job with one of the manufacturing companies within the Borough of Naugatuck.

Today the police department has grown to fifty-nine full time sworn police officers and fourteen full-time, and six part-time civilian employees that work in the Records Department, Dispatch Center, Maintenance Department and Animal Control. The Naugatuck Police Department is headed by current Chief of Police Christopher Edson, and Deputy Chief of Police Josh Bernegger. 

If you have any historical information or photos of the department, please contact us.

History of Naugatuck's Chiefs of Police

Chief George D. Hosford 
(1893 - May 26th 1896; June 7th 1897 - retired May 1898)
The Naugatuck Police Department was organized in 1893, with George D Hosford being named as the first Chief of Police. George D Hosford was born October 1855 in the state of Missouri and later moved to Naugatuck where he worked as an engineer. He later became a Constable for the Borough of Naugatuck before being named Chief of Police in 1893. Chief Hosford was suspended as Chief of Police May 26th 1896, pending an investigation by the Board of Warden and Burgesses. On August 7th 1896 Chief Hosford was dismissed from his position as Chief of Police by a vote of three to two from the Board of Warden and Burgesses. June 4th 1897 Hosford won his job back as Chief of Police after a favorable ruling from Superior Court Judge Robinson in a "Quo Warranto" law suit against the town. June 9th 1897, the warden and three democratic burgesses voted to reduce Chief Hosford's salary from $1000 to $50 a year for his services as Chief of Police. November 3rd 1897 in a report to the Board of Warden and Burgesses, Chief Hosford announced his intentions to retire from the police department following the next spring election after the installation of the new warden and burgesses. After his retirement from the police department, Hosford worked as an electrical engineer at the United States Rubber Works in Naugatuck. During his suspension, police officer John A. Kennedy was named Chief of Police and was demoted back to officer after Hosford won his job back. After his retirement in May 1898, Police Officer John B Schmidt was named Chief of Police.

Chief John A. Kennedy 
(May 20th 1896 - June 5th 1897)
John A Kennedy was born April 1856 in Naugatuck and was the son of Irish immigrants. During the 1880's, Kennedy worked as a rubber cutter in the rubber factory in Naugatuck until becoming a police officer. May 20th 1896 in a meeting with the warden and burgesses of Naugatuck, Police Officer John A. Kennedy was elected as Chief of Police to succeed George D Hosford. Kennedy held the position of Chief of Police until the ruling by Superior Court Judge Robinson on June 4th 1897. 

Chief John B. Schmidt
(Aug 9th 1898 - Feb 1st 1921)
John B Schmidt was born in Connecticut April 1853 and was the son German immigrants. August 9th 1898, after the retirement of Chief Hosford, the warden and burgesses of Naugatuck reorganized the Naugatuck Police Department by voting to relieve patrolmen John A. Kennedy, Samuel Grant, Michael Condon and Thomas McKiernan from Active Duty and they appointed Anthony Malone as a police officer. Chief John B Schmidt retired from the Naugatuck Police Department on February 1st 1921.

Chief William T. Morris
(1921 - Dec 13th 1929)
William Thomas Morris was born April 10th 1889 in Naugatuck. He was named Chief of Police in 1921 after the retirement of Chief of Police John B Schmidt on February 1st 1921, and held the position until his death December 13th 1929. September 6th 1929 while Morris was Chief of Police, he was awakened by an officer who discovered a screen missing from a business next door to the chief's home. Chief Morris, while in his pajamas, ordered the officer to watch the front of the business while he checked the back. While checking the back of the business, he surprised Stanley Wineski, who attacked him with a bottle. Chief Morris subdued Wineski, and a quantity of loose change that was taken from the business register was found in Wineski's pockets. Wineski was sentenced to 60 days in county jail for Burglary by Judge Harry Schofield. At the time of his death, Chief Morris was the youngest Chief executive in the state. He was a member of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association and the National Association of Police Chiefs. 

Chief John A. Adamson
(1930 - June 4th 1938)
John Aloysius Adamson was born January 16th 1880 in Naugatuck. Prior to joining the Naugatuck Police Department in 1919, Adamson was a shoe maker for the Naugatuck Rubber Footwear plant. December 17th 1929, Police Officer John A. Adamson was named active Chief of Police after the untimely death of Chief of Police William T Morris. Adamson was later named Chief of Police, a position he held until his death on June 4th 1938. 

Chief Vincent E. Skelly
(Feb 14th 1939 - Apr 21st 1939)
Vincent Edward Skelly was born on August 25th 1890 in Connecticut. June 5th 1938, Captain Vincent Skelly was named acting Chief of Police after the untimely death of Chief of Police John A. Adamson. Chief Skelly was named Chief of Police by the Board of Warden and Burgesses of Naugatuck on February 14th 1939, a position he held until his untimely death on April 21st 1939. Chief of Police Vincent E Skelly was a member of the Naugatuck Police Department for over twenty years.

Chief John J. Gormley
(June 1st 1939 - Apr 1st 1954)
John Joseph Gormley was born April 29th 1893 in Bridgeport Ct. He joined the Naugatuck Police Department on January 22nd 1917. Captain John J. Gormley was named as Acting Chief of Police on his 46th birthday, April 29th 1939 and was named Chief of Police June 1st 1939 by the Board of Warden and Burgesses of Naugatuck. Chief Gormley retired from the Naugatuck Police Department on April 1st 1954 at the advice of his physician and died on November 25th 1954.

Chief Anthony A. Malone
(1954 - Dec 26th 1960)
Anthony Aloysius Malone was born December 31st 1898 in Naugatuck. He was the son of long time Police Captain Anthony F Malone. Chief Malone joined the Naugatuck Police Department as a supernumerary in 1925. While he was Captain, he was the first head of the Naugatuck's Detective Bureau. Chief Malone was appointed as Chief of Police in 1954 after the retirement of Chief Gormley. He held the position as Chief of Police until his untimely death on December 26th 1960.

Chief Richard F. Ostrom
(Jan 1961 - Feb 1st 1961)
Richard F. Ostrom was born February 22nd 1895 in Naugatuck. He was named Chief of Police in 1961 after the death of Chief of Police Anthony A. Malone. Chief Ostrom retired February 1st 1961 from the Naugatuck Police Department. Chief Ostrom died May 18th 1977.

Chief Theodore J. Klimasewski
(Mar 1961 - July 1st 1966)
Theodore J. Klimasewski was born January 10th 1920. March 1961 Lieutenant Klimasewski was named Chief of Police by the Naugatuck Police Commission after the retirement of Chief Richard F Ostrom. July 1st 1966, Chief Klimasewski was suspended without pay or privileges by the Board of Police Commissioners for accepting gifts or gratuities. On July 11th 1966, the Board of Burgesses accepted the resignation of Chief Klimasewski from the Naugatuck Police Department which was made effective July 1st 1966. 

Chief Frank Mariano
(Oct 6 1966 - Dec 1983)
Frank Mariano was born January 4th 1914 in Connecticut. Chief Mariano was Deputy Chief until being promoted to Chief of Police on October 6th 1966 until his retirement December 1983.

Chief Dennis Clisham
(Aug 6th 1984 - Feb 14th 1989; Oct 8th 1993 - Jun 11th 2007)
Dennis Clisham was born Feb 4th 1940. Chief Clisham was hired by the Borough of Naugatuck Police Department April 25th 1968 where he made his way to the rank of Lieutenant. On Aug 6th 1984, Lieutenant Clisham was promoted to Chief of Police over acting Chief of Police Joseph Summa. On Feb 14th 1989, Chief Clisham was removed as Chief of Police and later won a law suit winning his position back as Chief of Police on Oct 7th 1993, until his retirement June 11th 2007.

Chief William Long
(Jul 31 1990 - Oct 7th 1993)
William Long was named acting Chief of Police Feb 14th 1989 after the suspension of Chief Clisham. July 31st 1990 at a meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners, William Long was appointed as Chief of Police until Oct 7th 1993 when Chief Clisham won his law suit against the Borough of Naugatuck. Oct 8th 1993 Chief Long was named as Deputy Chief of Police until his retirement April 5th 1996.

Chief Christopher J. Edson
(Jun 12 2007to present)