Police administrators and officers, town officials and family gathered at the Wednesday to honor newly appointed sergeant Matt Keepin as well as Derek Messier, who currently holds the rank.
Keepin was recently appointed to the role following the May retirement of Sgt. Kevin Witkos. Messier has served in the position for nearly three years but was never recognized with a formal ceremony.
Police chief Christopher Arciero greeted everyone and pointed out that in addition to town staff and police administrators nearly every police officer in town and several dispatchers were in attendance.
He also said Keepin and Messier were deserving of the position, an important one as direct supervisor to officers and at times the only highest ranking supervisor in the building.
“The rank of sergeant is probably the most important supervisory rank of any police department,” he said.
Messier he said also had two other important roles with the department — that of firearms trainer as well as a Field Training Officer that works with new recruits.
Messier, a 1998 graduate of Bristol Eastern High School, went on to study meteorology at Central Connecticut State University.
He graduated in 2002 and interned at Channel 30 but found it wasn’t for him. He saw an advertisement for the Canton Police Department and went for it.
“I kind of just fell into this job,” he said.
He’s now been in the department for approximately 10 years, nearly three as sergeant.
He’s been at the Canton Department for almost three years and is a member of the regional "S.W.A.T." team.
Keepin’s dad Dave was there to pin the badge on his son, who he called a hard worker that is conscientious and good with people.
“He’s a good kid,” Dave Keepin said. “I’m proud of him.”
“I’m grateful to the town administration and the Police Department administration for giving me this opportunity,” he said.