Joseph LaSata, captain of detectives and a decorated 21-year veteran of the , was named assistant chief of police Tuesday.
Lieutenants David Dubiel and Daniel Coppinger also were promoted to captain by Chief Tracey Gove.
“People are very excited about the future of the department,” said Gove, who was in December after . “I’m excited about the future. We are putting people [in command positions] with a lot of experience but who are relatively young.”
LaSata, 46, has earned multiple honors in his career, including a Distinguished Service Medal. He will command the patrol division, which represents more than two-thirds of the town’s sworn force of about 120.
LaSata, who officially steps up Sunday, moved steadily through ranks, earning detective in 1997, sergeant in 1998 and lieutenant in 2001. A former lead detective in the special investigations division and community interaction team, he was named captain of detectives in 2008.
LaSata’s predecessor as assistant chief, Carl Rosensweig, was in October.
There were three finalists for assistant chief, Gove said, “and Joe came out No. 1.”
LaSata also will attend the FBI Academy in the spring, Gove said.
Dubiel, 44, most recently head of community relations and youth services and , is now assigned to support services, which includes traffic. He previously worked in the patrol and traffic divisions after joining the department in 1991.
Coppinger, 44, who was hired in 1990, was assigned to the patrol division after working in the SID. A former SWAT team member, Coppinger also served in patrol and training and heads the WHPD honor guard.
Captain Donald Melanson was transferred from traffic to head the detective division, Gove said.
Gove said he expects the promotions to bolster communications within the force.
“Not that it was necessarily bad before, but I’m hoping for better communication between the administration and the officers,” Gove said.
Town Manager Ron Van Winkle announced the promotions at Tuesday night's Town Council meeting, praising all of Gove's choices. “Joe LaSata is an exemplary police officer. The kind of person we’re proud to have in the department,” Van Winkle said.