The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation honored a veteran police officer with a promotion and added five new police officers to its Public Safety Department at a ceremony in February.
The event took place February 22 at the Mashantucket safety complex. Officer Katy Tougas, an 18-year veteran of the Public Safety Department, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. Tongas began working in the department as an Emergency Medical Technician/Firefighter/Dispatcher in 1994. She later graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy with physical and academic honors and became a tribal police officer. She served as the tribe’s K-9 handler from 1999-2008 as well as its domestic violence instructor and field training officer. She was promoted to detective sergeant in 2007 when she also became the Public Safety Department’s criminal/internal investigator.
“It is an honor to have such dedicated people on our police force as Lieutenant Tougas.” Tribal council member Ray Colebut-Ingram said. “We are also pleased to be able to add five more police officers who have outstanding backgrounds in the law enforcement field to our force; we are confident they will serve our community well.”
The new officers include both veteran law enforcement officers with decades of experience and a rookie officer:
Officer Daniel Martin recently retired from a city police department after 31 years, including 16 years in criminal investigation, supervisor of a regional narcotics unit, as a detective, and in other positions. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Westfield State College in Massachusetts.
Officer Pasquale (Pat) Marino recently retired from the New Haven Police Department where he served since 1991. He served on patrol for 11 years, including assignment in the Narcotic Enforcement Unit. He was a detective in the sexual assault, narcotics, robbery and burglary Units.
Officer Anthony Zona also recently retired from the New Haven Police Department after 24 years of service. He was a patrol officer for 10 years then promoted to detective and assigned to the Family Services Division, investigating sexual assaults, serious juvenile crimes and domestic violence cases.
Officer Kevin Leach began his law enforcement career in the United States Coast Guard, where he participated in various law enforcement schools and patrols up and down the east coast. Following his honorable discharge in 1989, he joined the Norwich Police Department. During the course of his career, he has received numerous commendations, including the 2006 Connecticut State Police Outstanding Service Award. He is presently pursuing a degree in business administration at a local college.
Officer Alexander Tran is an entry-level officer who will attend the Connecticut Police Academy in April. He has served as a Public Safety Officer and completed internships with the West Hartford Police Department, Board of Pardon and Parole and Connecticut Juvenile Training School. He holds a Bachelor of Science, with a major in Criminology and a minor in Sociology, and intends on furthering his education in the field of information technology.
Mashantucket Police Chief William Dittman welcomed the new officers to the department. “The newest additions to our department represent a vast knowledge base of police experience which will complement our existing exemplary team and serve to further enhance our protection and service to the tribal community,” he said.
The increased personnel at the Mashantucket Department of Public Safety comes as the Connecticut legislature considers and Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Bill 6373, An Act Concerning the Policing of Tribal Land, which would alter the relationship between state government police departments and those of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe with the nations exercising more jurisdiction in their casinos and the Connecticut State Police spending less time in the casinos.