Wiping his eyes as he stood before his fellow officers, family and friends during a retirement celebration Thursday morning, police Capt. Frank Fallon encouraged officers to appreciate the time they have working for the department.
Fallon said that when officers retire, they receive a shadow box with their dates of service — for him it is 1995-2017. The dash between the two dates, he said, is important.
“For us here, a lot of stuff happens in the dash,” Fallon said. “So don’t rush to the end of the path. Enjoy the dash, a lot of stuff happens there. It’s been a great dash.”
Looking around the room, Fallon noted the many officers with the nicknames they’ve earned over the years, and talked about his memories of the department staff.
Fallon is seeking a new career as an internal investigator with a local insurance company, according to Chief Tracey G. Gove.
Fallon, a Hall High School graduate, joined the department in August 1995 after earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and business management at Central Connecticut State University.
Growing up, Fallon was surrounded by family members who worked in law enforcement — his father, two uncles and an aunt worked for the Hartford Police Department, and one of his uncles went on to be chief of the State Capitol police. One of Fallon’s cousin is a FBI special agent and another is a Newington police officer.
During his career, Fallon earned a master’s degree in forensic psychology.
After seven years as a patrol officer, Fallon was promoted to detective. In 2008, Fallon was promoted to sergeant and remained a leader in the department’s detective division. In 2012, he was promoted to lieutenant.
Fallon was one of the department’s polygraph examiners and has received praise for that work. He has attended the Department of Defense’s polygraph program at the National Center for Credibility Assessment and has examined polygraphs from hundreds of criminals and police officer applicants.
In 2013, Fallon received the Connecticut Polygraph Association’s Polygraph Exam of the Year Award for his work on a sexual assault investigation. After failing a polygraph, the suspect admitted to the crime and detailed what happened, Gove said. The man was arrested and sentenced to a 45-year prison term.
Gove said Fallon was “instrumental” in revitalizing the department’s citizen academy and has taught college and citizen academy classes on polygraph and report writing.
During his tenure, Gove said, Fallon earned five unit citations and one distinguished service award.
Gove also promoted two officers: Joseph Creaco to lieutenant and Shawn DiBella to sergeant.
Gove described Creaco, a highly decorated officer who has been with the department since 2004, as “relentless in his pursuit of criminals,” and said he has a “knack for noticing when something doesn’t look right.”
In his new role as lieutenant, Creaco will oversee a patrol squad comprised of three sergeants, 20 officers and four public safety dispatchers.
Gove said DiBella, a member of the department since 2000, has the “gift of gab” and is known for his strong communication skills, building rapport and earning trust.
As sergeant, DiBella will lead a squad of patrol officers.