A member of the United States Air Force continued a family tradition by becoming the newest officer of the on July 9. While Michael Breen III may be new to the department, police work runs in his family as his father, Mike Breen, was a police officer with the for 25 years, retiring just last year.
Rocky Hill Police Chief Michael Custer first noticed Breen when he was taking his criminal justice course at Middlesex Community College in Middletown.
"He stood out from his class," he said during a ceremony for Breen at , which was attended by the town staff, the mayor and fellow officers. "I thought he would be a great addition to the department."
Before the ceremony Monday morning, Breen, 22, had served a seven-month deployment with United States Air Force CT Air National Guard 103rd Security Forces Squadron at Bradley Air National Guard Base in Afghanistan near the city of Kabul. He has received the rank of senior airman in the United States Air Force.
Custer said the department was interested in hiring Breen about a year ago, but he notified them that he was going on deployment.
"We promised him that we would hold this position for him," he said.
Breen is one course away from graduating Middlesex Community College as a criminal justice major, Custer said. However, graduation will have to wait until after his police training is complete.
"He promised me that he will take that course when he gets out," he said.
On July 16, Breen will start the municipal police academy for 26 weeks and then, 14 weeks of field training with the Rocky Hill Police Department.
"He has got a lot of schooling ahead, but it will be all worth it when it is done," Custer said. "We are proud to have him."
Breen, a Durham native, said he is "excited" to be apart of the Rocky Hill Police Department and "looks forward" to working with his fellow officers and the residents in town for the betterment of the community.
"It seems like a great town," said Breen, who would someday like to be the or a member of SWAT.