His former teacher was in the audience Wednesday morning along with hundreds of other well-wishers to see that prediction become a reality.
“He was bright, motivated, engaging and he knew what he wanted to do, and I knew he’d be chief some day. Sometimes, you just know,” Northeastern University Professor Jean Egan said.
Delmonte, 41, was sworn in as the town’s police chief Wednesday morning at a ceremony held outdoors in front of the police station at 220 Pleasant St.
“I think the sun shining on us today is truly symbolic. It’s absolutely representative of a new era in the town of Bridgewater,” Town Manager Troy Clarkson said.
Clarkson said appointing Delmonte was an easy call. He called Delmonte “a man of integrity” who displays “true professionalism” and uncommon “leadership” skills.
And it’s clear Delmonte has the “enthusiastic and unanimous support” of the officers of the Bridgewater police department, Clarkson said.
“They believe in him and trust in him and look forward to his leadership for many years to come,” Clarkson said.
Town Clerk Ron Adams said, “We’re in good hands” and got a laugh when he added, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”
Adams then handed the podium over to Assistant Town Clerk Jolie Sprague-Martin, a friend of Delmonte’s for many years, to swear him in.
And Delmonte’s wife Andrea pinned his new badge on his uniform and gave him a hug, while their three children, Brian, 12, and twins Jonathan and Allison, 10, looked on. Also on hand were Delmonte’s parents, Victor and Jean Delmonte, long-time Bridgewater residents.
U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, whose Congressional district includes Bridgewater, presented Delmonte with a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol in his honor.
“It’s a position of tremendous responsibility. It’s one of high honor, God knows, but it’s one of tremendous responsibility. I want to thank you for your willingness to step forward and keep the families of Bridgewater safe,” said the South Boston Democrat.
The induction ceremony turned into a major town event, with cars filling the parking lot and spilling over onto Crescent Street.
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz looked around at the overflowing and enthusiastic crowd, which included, in addition to Lynch, many department heads and other town employees, the police chiefs of East and West Bridgewater, Carver and the Bridgewater State University police department, Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph D. McDonald Jr., Plymouth County Register of Deeds John Buckley, Vice President of External Affairs from Bridgewater State University Ed Minnock, Superintendent of Bridgewater-Raynham schools Jacqueline Forbes and numerous friends and family members.
“I think it’s a true testament how many people and what kind of people show up. I’ve known Chris a long time. With Chris in charge, I know Bridgewater will see good days ahead,” Cruz said.
Sgt. Thomas LaGrasta said after the ceremony the speeches weren’t just empty words. Practically to a person, the officers of the Bridgewater Police Department look up to Delmonte and consider his promotion to chief a cause for celebration, he said.
LaGrasta, who graduated from Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School in 1986 along with Delmonte and Bridgewater Police Sgt. Thomas Schlatz, with Bridgewater Police Det. Christopher Shaw not far behind, said the guys came in early to treat Delmonte to some good-natured razzing prior to the pomp and circumstance of the official ceremony.
It was a high compliment. It goes without saying they respect him and the office, Lagrasta said. They also wanted him to know, he is still one of them.
“He always will be,” Lagrasta said.
Delmonte, an attorney, began his service with the town in 1989 as an intermittent police officer and became a regular police officer in 1994. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999 and lieutenant in 2007 and began serving as the second in command to acting Police Chief Michael Bois in July 2009.
Early in his career, he served on bike patrol, the department’s acclaimed Honor Guard, as a K-9 officer and as a Special Response Tactical Team member.
During the past 16 years of full-time service, he has supervised patrol, support services, field training officers, the special operations unit, the search and rescue team, and the detective unit. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University and is a distinguished graduate of Southern New England School of Law.
When Delmonte took the podium, decked out in his dress blues with white gloves and a formal jacket, he broke the ice with humor on a sweltering morning with temperatures in the 90s.
“So, I found the hottest day of the year I could. I hope everything goes as smoothly in the future,” he said.
He quoted Sir Robert Peel, the nineteenth-century British statesman credited with helping to create the concept of a modern, ethical police force.
“He said, ‘The public are the police and the police are the public’,” Delmonte said.
“This is our home. We have a vested interest in seeing our community thrive,” he said.
Delmonte thanked his wife for her love and support thoughout the years and in a tender moment presented her with a single red rose, “not as chief, but as a smart husband,” he said.
And he thanked his children, who piled on for a family hug immediately following the swearing in.
“They have had to tolerate quite a lot as well. This job isn’t always Monday through Friday,” he said.
Delmonte had roses for the other women in his life, too, his mother and sister, and a thank you for his father.
Then Delmonte turned his thanks to his brother and sister police officers “out there doing this job for you in our community every day.”
“I am very proud to be a member of the Bridgewater Police Department. I accept this challenge with enthusiasm, greatly appreciate your support and confidence and look forward to a bright future,” Delmonte said.
Category: The New Chief