NORWICH — The City of Norwich Common Council voted last week to appoint Norwich Police Department (NPD) Detective Sergeant Reuben Roach as the new Chief of Police.
Roach will be taking over the role on March 3, following the retirement of NPD Chief Rodney Marsh, who has held the position for eight years.
"It was always what I wanted to do, even as a child," said Marsh of his law career. He joined the US Air Force after high school, and became a member of the 416th Security Police Squadron at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY. "After leaving the Air Force, I knew I wanted to get into law enforcement."
Marsh joined the NPD as a patrolman in August of 1993. From there, he moved through the ranks and held the position of detective, sergeant, and deputy chief, before taking the role of chief on January 1, 2015.
During his time at the NPD, Marsh was also a member of the Police Color Guard, Special Response Team, and Bicycle Patrol.
After a career in law enforcement spanning more than 29 years, Marsh said he knew it was time to pass the torch to the next chief.
"It was just time to retire and try a new career. I know I’m going to miss it, but I plan on keeping in contact with the officers and continuing that friendship," said Marsh.
Roach, who is in his 20th year in the law enforcement field, said he applied for the position of chief because he loves the City of Norwich and wants to continue to serve its community.
"I've lived in Norwich most of my life, and I love this city. It is a great place to raise a family and it is truly a community. Being the Chief of Police for Norwich is a challenge that I am up for," said Roach. "I have big shoes to fill following my predecessors Joe Angelino and Rodney Marsh."
Both his father and uncle are retired police officers, and Roach said, "as far back as I can remember, I've wanted to help others and be as good as they were."
His career began in 2003 when he was hired as a road patrol deputy with the Chenango County Sheriff's Department, before transferring to the City of Norwich Police Department in 2005.
In 2014, Roach was promoted to sergeant, and promoted again in 2016 to the position of detective sergeant.
Throughout his years at the NPD, Roach also expanded his knowledge of law enforcement practices through several trainings, including advanced child forensic interviewing, hostage negotiation, drug recognition, forensic handwriting, and more.
"Everyday law enforcement is a challenge and oftentimes the cases are intricate and lengthy. I have always enjoyed working on tough cases and bringing justice to victims. I've also been very fortunate to work with some great officers," said Roach.
Marsh said he's confident in Roach's abilities to handle the responsibilities of being Chief of Police.
"I’ve worked closely with Det. Sgt. Roach for over 17 years now, so we have had a very good working relationship. He is very knowledgeable, so there really wasn’t a lot I needed to pass onto him," said Marsh.
"To Chief Marsh, I say thank you. Thank you for the years of leadership, and for the years of experience and knowledge. That is irreplaceable," Roach said.
Moving forward, Roach said he hopes to make some changes, get NPD officers more involved in the community, and of course, continue to support and protect the people of Norwich.
"I do plan to make some organizational changes, and my goal is to have our officers in the community more. I am also going to host a Citizens Police Academy in the near future, and I am looking forward to having those who are interested attend it," said Roach. "We will work hard to have our men and women more involved with great people of this city."
"The Norwich Police Department is going to continue to help those in need, and to be a voice for those who are the victims of crime."