New deputy police chief on the job in Milford


Entering his third full week as Deputy Chief of the Milford Police Department, Kenneth Rahn seems comfortably settled into the department's top administrative ranks.
Deputy Chief Rahn, a 20-year department veteran, was officially sworn in on May 29, capping a process to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of former Deputy Chief Tracy Mooney.
Rahn, much like his predecessor, has impressive credentials accompanied by a personable and approachable demeanor.
Coincidentally, Rahn and Mooney were classmates in the 1994 graduating class of the Milford Police Training Academy, where Rahn earned the Samuel Luciano Award for Academic Excellence.
In recommending Rahn for the Deputy Chief post to the Board of Police Commissioners, Chief Keith Mello expressed great confidence that Rahn had not only the requisite educational and service qualifications, but also the intangibles needed to be an effective police administrator.
“Ken Rahn has the skill set and leadership skills, has the respect of his peers and supervisors, and highly meets the criteria,” Mello told the Police Commission at its April 13 meeting.
After reviewing Rahn's credentials and conducting an in-depth interview, the Police Commission voted unanimously on May 11 to accept Mello's recommendation to appoint Rahn as deputy chief.
Richard Smith, chairman of the Police Commission, said,“We are very fortunate to have had, within our own ranks of the Milford Police Department, the ideal candidate for the open position of deputy chief.
“Captain Rahn has proven himself to be a true leader; well-reasoned, purposeful and decisive. He is highly regarded by all who know him and, most especially, by his fellow officers. As a longtime resident, he knows our city and as a veteran officer, he knows the Milford PD. I have every confidence he will be very successful in his new role.”
Rahn came to Milford as a child when his family relocated here from Brooklyn, New York.
He is the youngest of five children, and has three older brothers who all retired from the New York City Police Department. His sister, a nurse, rounds out a brood that has been grounded in serving others. Today, Rahn and his three brothers have a combined 80-plus years of policing.
“I knew early on that I was leaning toward a career in law enforcement because of my exposure to my brothers' work, and the positive impact of their profession on their lives,” Rahn said.
It didn't hurt that during Rahn's childhood, a neighbor, Ernie Lazaro, and a baseball coach, Frank Barre, were active police officers whom he admired.
After graduating from Joseph A. Foran High School, Rahn went to Marist College where he earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice: police organization and administration, with a minor in psychology. Even with the academic background, Rahn knew he would have to work hard when he entered the Milford Police Academy.
“It was structured differently then,” Rahn said. “There were four hours of instruction each day, so the entire academy training lasted about 11 months. You weren't officially hired until after you completed the training. We all had to juggle police training with studying, and also with the jobs we were working at the time.”
Hired after graduation
Rahn graduated from the Police Academy in October 1994, and immediately was hired by the Milford Police Department. In 1996, he took an assignment that would set his career path for the next nearly eight years: As a member of the department's K-9 Unit. When he and his K-9 partner, Samson, graduated from the Connecticut State Police K-9 Training Academy , they received the prestigious Daniel S. Wasson Memorial Award for pride, dedication and enthusiasm.
Understanding law enforcement trends, Rahn subsequently took Samson through the Connecticut State Police narcotics detection seminar in 1997. Samson became the first narcotics detection K-9 in the history of the Milford Police Department.
Rahn sees the K-9 experience as transformative to his career.
“When I think back, I realize the impact upon my career was all of the networking that became possible with other law enforcement agencies, and the exposure to many different types of investigative techniques and methods,” Rahn said.
After retiring Samson and concluding his K-9 service, Rahn was selected as a member of the department's Crime Suppression Unit. In 2006, he was assigned to the Detective Division as an investigator.
“I loved the Detective Division and the work there,” Rahn said. “I also began to see where Chief Mello was taking the department, and it made me want to be more of an integral part of helping to fulfill that vision.”
Over the years, Rahn has served as a field training officer, then as a supervisor in the department's Field Training Officer Program, and as an instructor in the Milford Police Academy. While rising through the promotional ranks, Rahn served as a Detective Division sergeant, as a shift commander in the Patrol Division, and as commander of the Patrol Division.
Along the way, Rahn has received five departmental commendations, three unit citations, four letters of recognition, and a 10-year service award.
“I feel my progression to this position is directly reflective of Chief Mello's dedication to this department, and to his developing the potential of people within this agency,” Rahn said. “I'm grateful to Chief Mello for his recommendation and endorsement, and for his trust in me to fulfill this responsibility.”
As Deputy Chief, Rahn is in charge of the operational aspects of the Milford Police Department. He will supervise a combined 90 or so sworn officers and civilian personnel in the patrol and detective divisions.
On the home front, Rahn and his wife Tanya are parents of triplet girls and a young son. His outside interests right now center on helping to run the children to their respective lacrosse, flag football and soccer activities.
“I'm so grateful that Tanya has been incredibly supportive of the career path I've chosen and, most recently, of the promotion and position change,” Rahn said. “I'm looking forward to this new challenge.”