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Freeport police appoint first Black assistant chief in department history

The Freeport Police Department now has its first Black assistant chief in the department's history.

Thema Ponton

May 21, 2024, 12:50 AM

Updated 31 days ago


One of Freeport's finest is now one of Freeport's firsts.
The police department now has its first Black assistant chief in the department's history.
"It's emotional to me because I never expected it ... I'm proud, I'm proud of the occasion, I'm proud to be able to represent," says Assistant Chief Michael Williams.
Williams is among six members of the Freeport Police Department promoted in a ceremony at Village Hall on Monday.
Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy told News 12 that with a community 30% Black, 30% Hispanic and 30% white, the people being promoted reflect the diversity of the village and the department.
Kennedy added, "It's a younger crowd that's in here now, a lot of the seniors are beginning to retire, so you bring in newer, younger people in too."
The newly promoted members of the department are Freeport natives or longtime residents, connections they say they hope will help them make a lasting difference.
Detective Michael Salisbury said, "I'm a lifelong Freeporter, grew up here, very proud to serve our village and just honored to be a detective now."
Sgt. Fredis Pereira said, "I know a lot of the kids that now see another Latino officer, you know I was born in El Salvador, so I came here in '84, so I think it will show them that they could do it, too."
Lt. Joseph China said, "Ever since I was a little kid, all I wanted to do was be a police officer ... it really is an unbelievable day, a dream come true."
Sgt. Corey Cooke said "This position of sergeant just allows me to better adapt with the community and help them out as much as I can."
Deputy Chief Donnie Ethier said, "I'm entrusted with the integrity of the department, making sure our officers are out there doing the right thing by the community."
Kennedy also told News 12 that one of the reasons promotions are happening now is because the village has a regulation that they hire within the department first.
Kennedy said the recent retirement of an assistant chief created openings.

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