Police Officer Christina Dias has returned to Redding to finish her training after graduating from the New Haven Police Academy on Dec. 17. She was hired as the 16th police officer at the Redding Police Department, to replace Officer Brian Jones, who retired.
Growing up in a small Connecticut town similar to Redding, Officer Dias said she knew she wanted to work for the Redding Police Department for various reasons.
“I knew it would be an amazing experience to work for a smaller department in which you are able to form a relationship with everyone you work with,” she said.
In large departments it is more difficult to have a relationship with everyone because of the size, she said.
“I believe this is an essential component to have in this type of environment,” said Officer Dias. “Everyone at the Redding Police Department is remarkable and it is incredible to work with such dedicated and amiable individuals.”
She also likes the idea that with a smaller department, she can see a case through from beginning to end.
“This was important to me because one of the main reasons I wanted to become a police officer was to help people. This not only allows me to help people initially by responding on scene but also working with them every step of the way and resolving the issue,” said Officer Dias.
While earning her bachelor’s degree at St. Joseph’s College, where she majored in mathematics with a concentration on computer science and criminal justice, Officer Dias interned with the Naugatuck and Waterbury police departments.
“I always knew I wanted a career in law enforcement, but it was not until I completed my internship with the Naugatuck Police Department that I was certain that I wanted to become a police officer,” she said.
From March to July 2011, Officer Dias did 269 hours of interning.
“I saw what it was like to go on different calls and interact with the community as I rode along with various officers,” she said. “The police officers there were driven and proactive. They really cared about what they were doing, and it showed in the field.”
She also spent time in the detective bureau and records department, she said.
“After completing the internship, I did another one with the Waterbury Police Department, from September to December 2011,” said Officer Dias. “My internship with Waterbury was different than Naugatuck due to the fact that it was purely administrative. I spent time in the forensic lab, records and dispatch.”
What drew Officer Dias to a job in law enforcement is the ability to be out in the community making a difference.
“As a police officer you are not behind a desk. You’re out there every day making a difference in the community,” she said. “In my opinion, this is one of the most important jobs and I am so privileged and delighted that I have been given the opportunity to work for the Redding Police Department.”
While at the police academy, Officer Dias said, she was challenged physically, emotionally and intellectually. “It was something that I will never forget,” she said.
“Although it was a difficult six and a half months, I learned a tremendous amount. The staff is so dedicated to teaching the recruits. It is apparent they truly care what we retain in order to become exceptional police officers and come home safe at the end of each day.”