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West Hartford Police Department

The Police Department is composed of many specialized law enforcement teams,  including a bicycle squad, a canine unit, a Traffic Enforcement Division, Community Relations Division, and Animal Control Officers. Police cruisers are equipped with state of the art technology including in-car computers and video recorder systems.

The West Hartford Police Department is one of the largest municipal police departments in the State of Connecticut.  With an authorized strength of 131 sworn and more than 20 full-time civilian employees, the department is organized into three main divisions: Patrol Services, Investigative Services and Administrative Services.  Significant opportunities for professional growth and career advancement exist within that structure: approximately one-third of all patrol officer positions are eligible for divisional transfers to specialized assignments; about one-third of all positions are eligible for promotions to positions ranging from Detective to Chief of Police.

Chief Vernon Riddick, Jr. 
Chief Vernon Riddick, Jr.

2020 Organizational Chart:


The department strongly encourages qualified officers from all three divisions to apply for positions on one or more of West Hartford's Specialized Units including the SWAT Team, Tactical & Protective Medicine Branch, Hostage Negotiators Unit, K9, Dive Team, Bomb Squad, Honor/Color Guard and Motor Unit where their advanced training will be maximized and rewarded.  Officers may also be assigned to work with federal agencies including the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as the Connecticut State Police and other special local units.

Education and training are important components for success and advancement.  On the whole, the department reflects a higher than average educational level, and in an effort to maintain and supersede that standard, officers can take advantage of certain college incentive and tuition reimbursement programs that encourage the continuation of their education in related fields.

All division, assignments and departmental policies are overseen by the Chief of Police, Vernon Riddick Jr., who is supported by the Assistant Chief of Operations, Daniel Coppinger (below, left) and the Assistant Chief of Administrative Services, Lawrence Terra (below, right)



PRD 8.18 Fair and Impartial Policing

PRD 7.0 Use of Force – General

PRD 15.3 Citizen Complaint Procedure