NORWALK, Conn. — Ten members of the Norwalk Police Department were promoted Wednesday, including two to the rank of deputy chief.
Former Lieutenants Melissa Lepore and Joseph Dinho were sworn-in as deputy chiefs during a ceremony held in the concert hall in City Hall.
The program also included the appointment of three lieutenants, three sergeants and two detectives.
With the promotions of Lepore and Dinho, the department for the first time has three deputy chiefs. They join Deputy Chief Terrence Blake, who was appointed last January following the retirement of Deputy Chief Susan Zecca.
In remarks during the ceremony, Chief James Walsh said this is truly an exciting time for the department.
Walsh noted that over the previous 24 months, the department has hired 38 new officers and promoted 18 to leadership and investigative positions.
The department has been fortunate to recruit qualified men and women to fill its ranks, Walsh said, which he identified as a testament to the City of Norwalk’s leadership and the opportunity to work for one of the finest police departments in Connecticut.
The department Monday reported it has a total of 180 sworn personnel, one short of its authorized strength.
Deputy Chief Melissa Lepore joined the department in October 1998.
Lepore has served in the Patrol Division, Marine Unit, Community Policing and the Detective Bureau.
Lepore has most recently served as Lieutenant of Professional Standards and Accreditation, overseeing the extensive administrative functions required for the department to maintain its accreditation by the Commission for Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
Lepore was born and raised in Norwalk. Her husband, Marc Lepore, is a lieutenant in the department.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven.
Deputy Chief Joseph Dinho joined the department in October 2007.
Beginning in the Patrol Division, in 2013 Dinho was promoted to sergeant and became a member of the Crisis Negotiation Team.
Dinho later entered the Professional Standards Division, where he managed the department’s accreditation process and engaged in policy development, including implementing officers wearing body cameras.
He most recently has served as department spokesman as its lead public information officer.
Dinho is of Colombian descent. The department identifies him as a court recognized bilingual interpreter and translator who has served as a liaison to the Deptartment of Homeland Security in the processing of U-Visas.
Dinho holds an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
Other promotions Wednesday were:
- Sofia Gulino to the rank of lieutenant. Gulino joined the department in July 2004.
- Stefanos Kalmanides to the rank of lieutenant. Kalmanides joined the department in April 1999.
- Garrett Kruger to the rank of lieutenant. Kruger joined the department in September 2005.
- Jose Silva to the rank of sergeant. Silva joined the department in March 2015.
- Daniel Sefcik to the rank of sergeant. Sefcik joined the department in February 2009.
- John Petrafesa to the rank of sergeant. Petrafesa joined the department in January 2014.
- Alfredo Serrano to the rank of detective. Serrano joined the department in February 2011.
- Brian Barrett to the rank of detective. Barrett joined the department in July 2011.
Updated, 11:38 p.m. Friday: Video added.