Gives Outdoor Oath in a Sign of the Times

Veteran officer Richard Doyle officially became Easton’s new police chief during an unusual swearing in ceremony April 6 inside the 9/11 memorial on the library green, across from the police department.

Richard J. Colangelo, Easton Police Commission chairman and Connecticut’s Chief State’s Attorney, swore in Doyle in what is typically a public event with family and friends present, in addition to the police commission and fellow officers.

But just a small group of well wishers was present due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of a traditional handshake, Colangelo and Doyle exchanged an elbow bump.

“The Easton Police Commission is excited to promote a homegrown officer to be its new police chief,” Colangelo said. ”Rich Doyle has spent his whole career in Easton and has tremendous institutional knowledge. He is a ‘cops’ cop.’ I’m excited to work with him and see the department moving forward to keep the town safe and the citizens confident in the work the police department does.”

Doyle acknowledged the unusual times and said he accepts the responsibility. “I thank the police commission, Chief Shaw and First Selectman Bindelglass for having confidence in me. I think of all the people who are suffering right now, and I know my job would be a lot harder without the good, dedicated people in the Easton Police Department.”

Doyle also gave a shoutout to the Easton Fire Department and Easton EMS and said how much he appreciated the balloon art outside the Police Department that an Easton resident made to mark the occasion

Easton residents Eunice and Lee Hanson worked with town residents to erect the 9/11 memorial in front of the Easton Public Library,  in memory of all of the victims.  Their son, Peter; his wife, Sue Kim, and their granddaughter, Christine Lee, 2, died when UA Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

The Easton Police Department leadership change occurs as the pandemic strengthens across the country, with the epicenter in New York City and Fairfield County hit hard. Cases are forecast to peak in the coming weeks.

In addition to his previous position as police captain, Doyle is also the town’s emergency operations director, a role that has preoccupied him in recent weeks. He will continue in this role for now because of the seriousness of the situation.

Governor Ned Lamont’s “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order remains in effect with all non-essential workers statewide directed to work from home. Police, as first responders for all emergency calls, are on the front lines.

“April is the opposite month,” Lamont said in a PSA. “The opposite of everything I’ve ever told my kids. Don’t go to school… don’t go visit your grandparents… don’t go outside and play hoops with your friends… don’t go to a worship service.

“This virus is turning everything upside down, but if we take the ‘Stay at Home’ rule seriously, we’ll be right side up soon enough. Connecticut’s going to beat this virus. By sticking together and sticking to the rules.”

Outgoing police chief Tim Shaw, who will begin a new job as Stamford’s police chief on April 9, said he would be available to help in any way needed during the transition.

“It was being in the right place at the right time,” Shaw said. “I went through the process, and when Stamford appointed me, I made every push to make Captain Doyle the new chief for the continuity and because he deserves it. That made my decision a lot easier.”

Read more about Chief Doyle here.

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By Nancy Doniger

Nancy Doniger worked as a journalist for three decades and was a founding editor of the nonprofit Easton Courier in partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the Arts at Sacred Heart University (SHU). She served two years as executive member and is now a contributing editing of the Easton Courier. She was a former managing editor of Hometown Publications and Hersam Acorn Newspapers covering Connecticut's Fairfield and New Haven counties. She was a correspondent for the Connecticut section of The New York Times from 1995 until the section was discontinued in 2006. Over the years she edited The Easton Courier, The Monroe Courier, The Bridgeport News and other community newspapers. She taught news editing as an adjunct professor at SHU and served as coordinator and member of the Community Assets Network for the Easton, Redding and Region 9 schools. She was a member of the Newtown Community Center Commission, member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), board member of the New England Newspaper and Press Association (NENPA), and past president and board member of the Barnard Club of Connecticut. She has won awards for her writing from SPJ and NENPA.

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