EASTON, Conn. A lifelong resident and iconic face of Easton was officially sworn in as the fifth police chief Friday.
James Candee has had a long, steady ascent through the ranks of the Easton Police Department . He started as a patrolman in 1972 and was promoted to sergeant in 1985. Fourteen years later, he was promoted to be the first captain when former Chief John Solomon expanded the rank structure of the department to include a lieutenant and a captain.
I am very proud to say that he is one of our own, First Selectman Thomas Herrmann said during the promotion ceremony at the Easton Public Library. Candee is the first Easton police chief to come from within the department. The four previous chiefs were hired from outside agencies.
Candee represents everything that is good in the community, Herrmann said Friday, calling him the iconic face of Easton. Herrmann said he knows Candee will do what is right for the town.
Judging by the crowd that came out to support Candee, the entire community seems proud of its hometown hero. Filling the librarys community room were Candees family members, friends, colleagues and law enforcement officers from across the area, including state police and Weston Police Chief John Troxell.
I am humbled to see all you people here. I really didnt expect this, Candee said.
Candee then looked back on his 40-year career with the force, especially the long and sometimes lonely nights as a patrolman. But one day in particular stuck out. I was a young officer sitting on Route 59 when a blue car went by going northbound on Sport Hill Road. I saw the operator kind of glance over and the pedal went right to the metal.
I chased him up Route 59, drove right onto Church Road and right into my grandfathers driveway. He said, I just wanted to see if you were awake,' he recalled, drawing cheers and laughter from the audience.
Candee then went on to thank everyone in the room who had supported him through the years. He said he would do the rest of the town proud and focus on doing what is right for Easton.
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