After more than five years as a town dispatcher Johanna Camacho was recently sworn in as a Simsbury Police Department officer. She fills the slot vacated by the retirement of officer John Mimnaugh.
Camacho has served the Town of Simsbury as a police dispatcher since November 2008. On January 2, 2014, family, friends, public officials and co-workers celebrated her swearing in ceremony.
Camacho also interned for the Simsbury Police Department in 2007 while at Northwestern Connecticut Community College, where she graduated in 2008 with a degree in criminal justice, said chief of police Peter Ingvertsen. She was class valedictorian, he added.
Ingvertsen said it's been great to see Camacho learn more and more about police work.
"She saw what she really wanted to do was be a police officer," Ingvertsen said. "She took this opportunity."
With her knowledge of the town, its residents, its streets, department philosophy and more, Camacho will be a great asset to the department, Ingvertsen added.
"We're gaining a lot from her," he said.
Camacho recently began training at the Connecticut Police Academy, with an anticipated graduation date of July 2014. Once she has graduated from the academy, Camacho will return to Simsbury for at least 10 more weeks of training. Generally officers do about 14 weeks of field training but Camacho will likely need less due to her knowledge of the town, the police chief said.
She is the 6th female police officer in town. Another, Laurel Mandel, is also at the academy, one class ahead of Camacho. Mandel previously served as dispatcher for the town of Avon.
Another recent addition to the department, James Ball, also came with a background in dispatching. He worked in Simsbury as full-time dispatcher and stayed on part time when he was hired as a police officer in Granby, police said. Recently he came to work as an officer in Simsbury.