Urban versus Suburban Policing
THOMAS J. SWEENEY
Thomas J. Sweeney is the Chief of Police in Glastonbury, Connecticut, a position he has
held since July 1999. He previously served as Police Chief in Bridgeport, Connecticut
(1990-1999) and Deputy Commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Public
He began his sworn career as a Police Officer in Portsmouth, Virginia and held senior
administrative positions in Kansas City, Missouri and Yonkers, New York Police
Departments. He has written extensively about police issues, particularly patrol
operations and accomplished consulting and training assignments in more than 30 police
He received a Master’s Degree in Criminology from the University of California –
Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Manhattan College.
WILLIAM L. GAGLIARDI
Chief Gagliardi is a 37 year veteran of the New Britain Police Department. He has
served as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Youth Bureau Supervisor, Lieutenant, Captain, and
Deputy Chief before his appointment to Chief in 2005.
Chief Gagliardi has a B.A. Degree majoring in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from
C.C.S.U., he is a POST-C Certified Instructor, and certificates in Crime Prevention from
the University of Louisville. The Chief is an honorably discharged Vietnam War veteran
who served in the U.S. Army as a Corpsman.
The Chief’s Professional Associations past and present are with the International
Association of Chiefs of Police, Connecticut Police Chief’s Association, Fraternal Order
of Police, International Juvenile Officers Association, and State Office of Policy
Management serving on a subcommittee member.
He has served on the following Boards and Committees, CT Police Chief’s Accreditation
Subcommittee Member, Department Accreditation Manager,
Chairman of the Department Educational Advisory Board, Chairman of the Health and
Safety Committee, Firearms Discharge Board – Chairman, Police Athletic League
Mayor’s Drug Task Force – Chairman, Sheldon Child Guidance Clinic - Board of
Directors, Advisory Committee for Specialized Foster Care, Human Growth and
Development Committee, Child Protection Team, Committee for Youth Consciousness
and the Juvenile Review Board.
Chief Gagliardi’s Professional Publications include the New Britain Police Department’s
Supervisor’s Manual, Department’s Police Academy Manual, and an Employees’
The Chief has received the following recognitions and Awards; Human Resource
Agency’s Alton Brooks Community Service Award, Chief’s Award for Professionalism,
Columbian Federation – Community Service Award, General Ameglio Civic Association
– Community Appreciation Night, Home Town Hero designation by Governor William
O’Neal, State of Connecticut General Assembly Awarded (3) Citations for Community
Service, and he has received numerous Departmental Commendations, Citations, and
Special Recognition Awards.
CAPTAIN KELVAN KEARSE
Captain Kelvan Kearse has been a police officer for 19 years. He is a graduate of the FBI
National Academy. He currently holds the rank of Captain and is assigned to the Patrol
Division as the Patrol Division Commander. He has additional responsibilities as the
Commander of the North Central Municipal Emergency Response Team (NCMERT),
which is a regional Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) team. He is also the North
Central Director of the Connecticut Gang Investigators Association, and a member of the
National Tactical Officers Association. He is certified by the Police Officers Standards
and Training Council (POST) to teach Cultural Diversity, Defensive Tactics,
Firearms, Patrol Procedures, Crowd Control, Building Search, and SWAT tactics. He
has also been happily married to my wife Lorraine for 20 years and I has two children
Mark (19) and Courtney (13).
CAPTAIN JOSEPH J. BUYAK, III
Captain Buyak was born and raised in Hartford, attended local schools, and graduated
from South Catholic High School in 1980. He joined the Hartford Police Department on
December 19, 1983. Following his appointment, and after finishing second in his Police
Academy Class, Captain Buyak was assigned to the Field Services Bureau and served in
a variety of Patrol Division assignments. He was appointed to the position of Sergeant in
March of 1992, Lieutenant in May of 1995, and Captain in May of 2001.
During his career with the Hartford Police Department, Captain Buyak has held
numerous command level positions to include Evening Watch Commander, Commander
of the Crimes Against Persons Division, South Police Service Area Executive Officer,
Commander of the Investigative Services Bureau, Commander of Inspections,
Ombudsman and currently, Commander of the Southeast Police District. He is also the
recipient of numerous Hartford Police Department commendations
Captain Buyak has chaired the Hartford Police Department’s Awards Committee and is a
member of the Hartford Police Emerald Society, the Hartford Police Italian Officers
Association, the Hartford Police & Fire Association, the Patrolman’s Benevolent
Association, the Hartford Police Veteran Officers Association, the Narcotic Enforcement
Officers Association, and the Hartford Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police. A long
time supporter of the Boy Scouts of America, Captain Buyak attained the rank of Eagle
Scout in 1979 while a member of Hartford’s Troop 105. Captain Buyak also holds a
criminal justice degree from an area college.
PRESTON C. TISDALE, ESQ.
Preston Tisdale is the Director of Special Public Defenders for the State of Connecticut,
Office of Chief Public Defender. Preston has held this position, since its inception and
has administered and managed all Special Public Defender operations and functions
within the Division of Public Defender Services. Prior to receiving this appointment, he
headed the Fairfield Judicial District Public Defender’s Office. As a member of the
Division of Public Defender Services, Attorney Tisdale has also held positions at GA 2 –
Bridgeport and at GA 6 – New Haven. During his twenty-seven years with the Division,
he has amassed an extensive trial resume. Attorney Tisdale embarked upon his legal
career at the law firm, then known as Koskoff, Koskoff, Rutkin & Bieder.
Attorney Tisdale is a member of the Connecticut Commission on Racial and Ethnic
Disparity in the Criminal Justice System and he has served in that capacity, since the
Commission’s inception. He is a member of the Quinnipiac University School of Law
Dean’s Council and a faculty member of both the National Defender Training Project and
the CBA – Continuing Legal Education Program. He has also served on the Connecticut
Hate Crimes Advisory Committee, as a past Treasurer of the Connecticut Bar Association
(CBA) and on the CBA’s Standing Committee on Professionalism.
In other civic capacities, Attorney Tisdale serves on the Regional Youth/Adult Substance
Abuse Project Executive Committee, the Bridgeport Public Education Fund, Inc. Board
of Directors, the Center for Children’s Advocacy Board of Directors, the Greater
Bridgeport Symphony Board of Trustees and he is the immediate past Chairman of the
Central Connecticut Coast YMCA.
Attorney Tisdale graduated from Brown University and the New York University School
of Law. He serves on the Brown University – President’s Advisory Council. He is also
the current President of the Inman Page Black Alumni Council of Brown. University and
he serves on the Brown University Club of Fairfield County Board of Directors.