Darien welcomed new police chief Ray Osbourne and several new officers to the force during 2017 following the retirement of Duane Lovello in January.

Osborne, a 33-year veteran of the department, was appointed chief by the Darien Police Commission and formally sworn in on March 15. Commission Chairman J. Paul Johnson said their choice follows the tradition of promoting within the department ranks. During a ceremony shared with family, friends, fellow law enforcement and town officials at Town Hall, Osborne said he will would be looking to find the Darien Police Department’s next generation of leadership.

• Slideshow: Ray Osborne sworn in as Darien's 10th Chief of Police

Less than a week later the department announced promotions for Captain John P. Lawlor, Lieutenant Jeremiah P. Marron Jr. and Detective Nicholas Aranzullo, who have more than 60 years of shared experience in Darien.

Darien also added four new police officers to the force during 2017. Officers Christopher Nieves, Richard Flood and Dennis Sang joined the Darien Police Department as probationary officers in April, sharing more than 35 years of law enforcement experience between them. The fourth addition was Officer Eric Holder, who was sworn into service on Nov. 29.

There were also several promotions:

Captain John Lawlor is a 31-year veteran of the department and supervises the field services bureau. He was promoted to sergeant in 2000 and lieutenant in 2013 where he served as a supervisor in the patrol and training divisions. He instituted the department’s crisis intervention team and also the department’s Project Lifesaver program. Lawlor is a member of the school safety committee and is a long standing member of the department’s SCUBA team and the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team. He is a licensed clinical social worker and volunteers in the marriage ministry at his church.

• Editorial — As Chief Lovello retires, Darien is grateful for his service

A 21-year veteran of the department, Lieutenant Marron Jr. was a 2016 recipient of the United States Attorney’s Award and served as supervisor of the department’s Detective Division for the three years. In June of 2006, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and was assigned to the patrol division. Marron served on the Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team (SWAT) for nine years and was a field training officer for six years. He was formerly the Department’s Public Information Officer and assisted the SCUBA Team as a rescue diver. Lt. Marron is also the Selective Enforcement Unit, K-9 Unit and Accident Investigation Team Supervisor.

Sergeant Nicholas Aranzullo is a 12-year veteran of the Department. Currently assigned to the Detective Division, he graduated from the Connecticut Police Academy in 2005. In 2008, Aranzullo and Marron spearheaded the initiative to form the Darien Police Department’s first K9 Unit. In 2009, he was selected to be the Department’s first K9 handler. Aranzullo and his partner, K9 “Zulu” worked in the patrol division where they were the recipients of numerous awards and commendations. K9 “Zulu” was retired from service in October 2016 at which time Aranzullo was reassigned to the Detective Division.

Following the retirement of K9 Zulu, Darien Police Department added two new officer and K9 duos to the unit in 2017. Officers Leslie Silva and Amanda Hinkley joined the unit and were paired with newly trained K9s Grizzly and Argo, respectively. Tragically, K9 Grizzly was diagnosed with bone cancer and died just a few months after being deployed.

Officer Silva was eventually paired with K9 Kenny, a four-year-old golden retriever named after fallen Darien police officer Kenny Bateman. Both K9 Kenny and K9 Argo, a two-year-old German Shepard, are trained to detect narcotics and assist with traffic stops.

Though the Darien Police Department has seen some changes during the year, Chief Osborne and his staff remain committed to serving Darien to the best of their ability and growing to meet the changing demands of law enforcement.