by Sophia Contreras
After 147 years of existence, the New Britain Police Department has named its first female and Latina police captain, Jeanette Portalatin.
The promotion will make the 21-year police veteran one of the top five commanders in the NBPD.
On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the police department honored Captain Portalatin, Lieutenant Adam Rembisz and Sergeant Kyle Lamontagne in a pinning ceremony.
The ceremony was held at the New Britain police headquarters.
Captain Portalatin was formerly a lieutenant in the criminal investigations division. She was pinned by her young daughter, Mika Saccente.
“She [Mika] is the reason I do what I do and I want her to be inspired by what I do because she is the reason I get up every morning,” Captain Portalatin said as to why she chose her daughter to pin her.
Captain Portalatin’s connection to the New Britain community is deeper than just her career; she is a New Britain native and attended public schooling in New Britain.
“Jeanette is a New Britain success story,” New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell said.
Captain Portalatin was honored by many people during the ceremony, including New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.
“This is the first step of many for all the woman in the department and, hopefully, soon we’ll see a female chief. Captain Portalatin, you are truly a role model,” Mayor Stewart said.
Supporting staff and family shared their excitement of Captain Portalatin’s promotion during the ceremony.
“Jeanette’s intelligence, quick wit, ability to get things done, accuracy and communication skills are top notch, truly above the rest,” New Britain Police Chief Secretary Kristen Perugini said. “Her promotion did not come as a surprise. She is well deserving of her new rank.”
“There’s nothing better than being a police officer. I love it. Every day you see and experience something different and you’re giving back to the community. What’s better than that?” Captain Portalatin said when asked why she pursued her career.
Captain Portalatin hopes that her rise in rank inspires other female officers and young students.
“Set your sights high. You can accomplish and achieve anything you want. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” Captain Portalatin said.