Two Avon patrol officers were promoted to the rank of sergeant on Monday.
"The officers to be promoted here endured a challenging and extensive process that tested their ability to perform in the respective positions," Avon Police Chief Mark Rinaldo said.
Town Clerk Ann Dearstyne swore in Lisa Petkis and John Schmalberger late afternoon before their families, coworkers, town staff and some members of the community.
"It feels great. It was a lot of hard work and I'm excited to continue working here at the police department," Schmalberger.
The officers were assessed based on their performances on written and oral tests, role-playing exercises and interviews with the police chief.
Schmalberger has been with the department since Jan. 2, 2008 and Petkis was hired on Jan. 3, 2006.
They both came to the from other professions.
"Before I was a school teacher and I decided to bring that training to the police department and try my hand in police work, something I always wanted to do," said Petkis, who graduated from the University of Hartford in 1998. "It's having the best of both worlds."
She still has classroom time and has worked with kids as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) instructor since February 2010. The sense of community connection also drew her to police work, she said.
Schmalberger, who graduated from Western New England College in 2005 with a business degree, used to work as assistant manager of a building and supply company in East Haven. He said he likes being an officer because of the camaraderie and the interaction with a variety of people. He's also doing work that doesn't require him to be stuck in an office, he said.
He has been assigned to the North Central Municipal Accident Reconstruction team since February 2009. Both became field training officers in July 2011.
Including Petkis and Schmalberger, there will now be six patrol sergeants and two administrative sergeants, Schmalberger said.
Rinaldo said that both Petkis and Schmalberger represent "the Avon Police Department with the utmost professionalism and dedication to the protection of lives and property in our community."
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