Bannish named sergeant

Rhett Bannish

SOUTHWICK – The Southwick Police Department has a new sergeant with the promotion of Rhett Bannish.
Bannish was unanimously approved by the Board of Selectmen after an interview process that included five candidates, all from within the department.
“I’m thrilled,” Bannish said following his appointment.
Bannish, 38, said his selection is a vote of confidence because his fellow officers were all worthy candidates.
“They are all very qualified – I am honored to be chosen from among this group,” he said.
Bannish said he believes his background and commitment to the town played a role in the decision.
“I have been a Southwick resident my entire life and I have been with the department since I was 21 as a reserve officer, then full-time in 2000,” said Bannish.
Police Chief Mark Krynicki said the promotion is deserved.
“I think it was a tough decision, all the candidates were well-qualified,” he said. “I believe Sgt. Bannish will do a wonderful job – he has been performing the duties as a shift commander since Richard Cross’s retirement.”
The retirement of Cross in September created the open sergeant position.
Lt. David Ricardi said he was happy with the promotion of Bannish and added that he would have been pleased with any one of the candidates.
“They are all good, quality people,” said Ricardi.
Board Chairman Arthur Pinell said it was a tough decision because any one of the officers could do the job well.
“It has been an interesting process for me,” Pinell said. “We had very well qualified candidates.  I am happy with the level of commitment of all the gentleman we interviewed.”
Pinell said he appreciated the efforts of the department and he hears good comments about the Southwick Police in the community.
“It’s been a difficult decision for me, but I narrowed it down to a couple of candidates,  and in my mind, Rhett Banish stood out,” said Pinell.
Selectmen Russell Fox and Tracy Cesan both agreed and Fox took a moment to acknowledge the department.
“I’d like to commend the chief and lieutenant for training these officers,” said Fox.
Bannish will be sworn-in by Town Clerk Michelle Hill this week.
Following Bannish’s appointment, the board discussed how it plans to fill two reserve officer positions.
Krynicki said he, Ricardi and Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart, narrowed the original list of candidates from 28 to 13, and then to seven.
The board agreed it would like to interview the seven candidates.
Krynicki suggested the interview process be similar to the sergeant interviews, with each selectperson asking one question of all candidates.
The interviews will take place in a public session set for Dec. 10 at 6:15 p.m.

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