On Monday, May 29, American Legion Kiltonic Post 72 named Southington Police Officer Mark Dibattista as their police officer of the year. Legion officials presented Dibattista with his award during the ceremony held at the conclusion of the Memorial Day parade.
Dibattista started his law enforcement career with the Hartford Police Department in 2003, but he took a position within the Southington Police Department in 2006. Ina press release, Legion officials said that he has served the department and the community “in an exemplary fashion.”
Dibattista is a department field training officer tasked with training and developing new recruits in the tasks and responsibilities required to effectively perform the duties of a Southington police officer.
He is the departmental lead in the newly implemented L.E.A.P.S program, a community outreach program designed to provide resources, information and education to individuals battling heroin addiction and their families.
Dibattista saw the need to assist citizens that he came in contact with on patrol, who lacked adequate food and clothing or who were having housing issues. In an effort to assist these folks in need, Dibattista collaborated with local community groups, such as Bread for Life, STEPS and the Main Street Community foundation, to start a program where our officers have access to emergency kits. The kits contain food items, emergency blankets, and contact information for service organizations in town to further assist them in the long term.
“Officer Dibattista’ s commitment and dedication to serving the public was the primary reason he was selected as the American Legion officer of the year,” officials said in the release.