Windsor Locks officials Wednesday named Bristol Police Chief Eric Osanitsch to become the town’s new police chief.
"We really want to thank the town and the epartment for their patience, trust, and understanding,” Police Commission Chairman Kevin Brace said in a press release. “ It's been a very long journey that has brought us to this point. The hiring process has taken many twists and turns, was done with minimal cost to the town, and brought us to this fantastic conclusion. It started last December and we finished today with the hiring of Chief Osanitsch".
Police officials announced in April that they had chosen a candidate for the position but had to wait until a physical examination, polygraph test, psychological exam and back ground check were completed. The background check was done by the Manchester Police Department, Brace said.
Osanitsch will start his new job this month.
“I welcome the choice of Chief Osanitsch as the next police chief of Windsor Locks", First Selectman Steven N Wawruck Jr., said in a statetment. "Chief Osanitsch is a true professional with a proven track record from the the City of Bristol. I believe with Chief Osanitsch's leadership and the dedicated officers of our department, the town will have one of the premier departments in short order.”.
Osanitsch will retire from the Bristol Police Department after having worked to straighten out some difficulties in the department, Brace said. According to an article in the Hartford Courant, Osanitsch helped to restore the Bristol Police Department’s reputation.
"I look forward to working with both the citizens and officers of Town of Windsor Locks. It is my responsibily to provide the direction, leadership, and resources to ensure that professional police services are provided, that the town and officers will be proud of and deserve", Osanistch said in a statement.
Osanitsch was an advisor to the police commission when it offered the position to Thomas Fowler, Brace said. When negotiations broke down with Fowler, the commission decided to work with the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association to re-advertise and assist with the hiring process. Osanitsch then asked that his name be put in the hat for the job.
“We had nothing to do with the selection of who would come before the commission,” Brace said. “This is such a victory for the department and the town to get a chief of this caliber."
The police chief job has been vacant for nearly a year since John Suchocki retired after several tumultuous months that included a review of the department’s possible mishandling of the investigation into the death of a local teenager who was struck and killed by an off-duty WLPD officer.
The former officer, Michael Koistinen, pleaded guilty in June to second-degree manslaughter and tampering with physical evidenceand will be sentenced August 27.
Capt. Chester DeGray has been acting chief, and Sgt. Francis Baron was named this Spring as acting captain to help out DeGray.