In 1947, the Connecticut State Legislature empowered the Town of Monroe to organize a Police Department. In 1952, the Monroe Police Department was organized. Law enforcement in the Town of Monroe went from Constables to an organized police force, With Jacob J. Tufano appointed as the first Chief of Police.
This original department consisted of the Chief, one Sergeant, four Constables, and 25 Auxiliary police officers. The Police Department handled 849 calls for service, serving a population of 2,892. The department continued to grow, with the addition of new personnel and updated equipment.
By 1967, the Police Department had grown to include the Chief, three Sergeants, eight Patrol Officers, and one Policewoman. In 1974, the department reached a staff of 22 sworn officers. In this same year, Chief Tufano announced his retirement.
Lt. Regis Desrosiers was appointed as the Department's second Chief of Police. In 1977, Chief Regis Desrosiers retired, and Robert J. Wesche was appointed to the Chief's position, becoming the third member of the Department to hold that rank.
The 1980s brought about many changes. The first female Police Officer was hired, and the Department added K-9 "Starsky" to the Patrol Division. By 1982, the Department had grown to 28 sworn officers and handled over 20,000 calls for service. In 1988, two Lieutenant positions were created. In 1989, the D.A.R.E. Program was initiated in Monroe, and the Department saw the new "E-911" System installed.
In 1992, the Monroe Police Department was at full staff with 33 sworn officers and handled 18,896 calls for service. The population of Monroe was 16,812. 1994 was a year of technological advancement. A department-wide computer system was purchased and installed. After 40 years of dedicated service, Chief Robert Wesche retired.
December 1, 1998, John L. Salvatore was appointed as the fourth Chief in Department history. He was a police officer in Wethersfield for over 20 years before taking the Chief’s position in Monroe. He revamped the Monroe Police policies and procedures which led to the Police department receiving state accreditation for the first time in the department’s 50-year history in 2002.
Chief Salvatore also addressed issues with the police department building completing a 5,200-square-foot renovation of the police department and enhancing everyday operations. The number of full-time dispatchers grew from three to seven over his tenure answering over 20,300 calls for service. Upon his retirement in 2022, the Police department maintained the highest state accreditation Tier III, from Connecticut Police Officers Standards and Training Post Council. Chief Salvatore served the citizens of Monroe for over 23 years.
On February 25, 2022, Keith White was sworn in as the 5th chief in department history. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communications from Curry College. He’s a graduate of Sacred Heart’s Police Leadership Institute and the Southern Police Administrative Institute. Chief White also graduated from the FBI National Academy. He joined the ranks of the Monroe Police Department in 1995 as an entry-level officer and has served the Monroe community for 27 years. Chief White organized and led the transition for the Sandy Hook students and staff in returning to school in Monroe, ensuring campus security and safety, while communicating with media outlets. Chief White currently serves as the Director of Emergency Management for the town and led the town through the height of the COVID pandemic.