Nomination Letter For Lt. Rebecca Sweeney
To The C.A.W.P.
Chief James Lewis asked me to send a nomination for the Community Service award. He
wants to nominate Lt Rebecca Sweeney of the New Haven Police Department.
Rebecca has been a member of this Police department for 14 years. It is with great honor
that I nominate Lieutenant Rebecca Sweeney as CAWP’s woman officer of the year. Lt.
Sweeney has been a New Haven Police Officer for approximately 14 years and was
recently promoted to lieutenant in January.
For the past two years, Lt. Sweeney has been a district manager in the Newhallville/East
Rock policing district. The Newhallville district is a neighborhood plagued with gun
violence and illicit narcotics sales. The children of Newhallvile have very little safe and
fun activities. There is no community center, shopping center, or movie theater. Lt
Sweeney has opened up her police substation and hosts monthly “Newhallville Movie
Nights” where she offers movie, dinner and fun.
Most recently, she hosted a Halloween party for over 100 neighborhood children. The
children ate pizza while watching a Halloween special. Each child left with a bag filled
with Halloween candy. Lt. Sweeney’s back to school event was also a huge success. She
enlists family and friends to help at these events and her father, retired NHPD Lieutenant
Michael Sweeney, manned the grill at the back to school event. Each child left with a
brand new backpack stuffed with school supplies.
Lt Sweeney also hosts reading days to encourage literacy where each child leaves with a
brand new book. Over the summer, Lt. Sweeney collaborated with local benefactors to
host the grand opening of the Splash Pad, a safe and refreshing place for the children of
Newhallville. Lt. Sweeney has begun collecting donations for thanksgiving dinner basket
deliveries. Lt. Sweeney has also begun raising toy donations for her annual holiday
giveaway. Last year, she and the officers assigned to her district personally delivered toys
to 100 families.
In addition to her devotion to the children of Newhallville, Lt Sweeney also works
tirelessly to support her brother and sister officers through crises or the stress of everyday
living. After seeing a desperate need for a peer support team, she assisted in the creation
of the team three years ago. She now boasts of a team with 24 members encompassing
all genders, ranks, races, and sexual orientations. As team leader, Lt Sweeney has assisted
in mental health referrals and substance abuse placements.
Lt Sweeney is a fellow with the Yale Child Study Community Policing Child
Development Program. She recently assisted in the development of a family intervention
program which targets young black men between the ages of 14-17 yrs old. This program
addresses the family issues that contribute to poor choices made by young men in our
society and attempts to reverse the cycle. She has traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to
replicate the child study program.
In her personal life, Lt. Sweeney has coached her daughters’ youth soccer team and is the
Girl Scout leader in her hometown. Lt. Sweeney also comes from a family of police
officers. Her father retired with 30 years of service to the New Haven Police Department.
Her brother, Aaron Sweeney, and husband, Shawn Burns retired recently as detectives
after 20 years of service.
Officer Joe Avery
Crime Prevention Specialist
New Haven Police Department