(Norwalk, Conn.) Today, January 23, 2023, Mayor Rilling congratulated Norwalk Police Chief James Walsh and Deputy Chief Terrence Blake on their new leadership appointments at this afternoon’s Norwalk Police Commission Meeting.
These appointments follow the retirement of Norwalk Police Chief Thomas E. Kulhawik on January 4th, 2023, after nearly 40 years of service with the Norwalk Police Department, including ten years as Chief.
"I want to congratulate Chief Walsh and Deputy Chief Blake on their appointments leading the Norwalk Police Department,” said Mayor Rilling. "The community is truly in good hands under their leadership. Chief Walsh has been with the department for 35 years and his rise through the ranks is a testament to his commitment to Norwalk and his strong sense of duty to the community. Deputy Chief Blake has been with the department for 25 years and has also shown a deep sense of dedication towards protecting and serving the community. The City of Norwalk is fortunate to have their leadership and I wish them all the success as they take on these new leadership roles."
Chief James Walsh joined the ranks of the Norwalk Police Department on July 7, 1988, where he was assigned to the Patrol Division for ten years. He was promoted to Detective in 1998, Detective Sergeant in 2001, and assumed the role as Patrol Sergeant in 2003. After nine years of managing patrol officers, James was promoted to Lieutenant and oversaw patrol for a year before being asked to command the Investigative Services Division. In June 2018, James was promoted to Deputy Chief, where he led both the Operation and Administration of the Norwalk Police Department.
During Walsh’s tenure as a Norwalk Police Officer, he has earned several awards and medals for his bravery, professionalism, and exemplary service: Officer of the Month (July 2017), Officer of the Year (2005 and 2012), Police Service Cross (three times), Medal of Merit, Distinguished Service Award (seven times), and Unit Citation (three times). Chief Walsh has also participated in the development of programs within the Norwalk Police Department, such as the Tactical Response Team, Peer Support Team, Honor Guard and Advisory Board.
Deputy Chief Terrence Blake was hired in October of 1998 and dedicated the first five years of his career to the Patrol and Community Police Divisions. This assignment was followed by appointments to the Special Services Division (2003) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force (2006). In 2006, Deputy Chief Blake was promoted to Detective, and in 2009, he was reassigned to the Detective Bureau. From there, he was appointed to the United States Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Task Force. In 2013, Deputy Chief Blake was promoted to Sergeant and was assigned first as a supervisor in the Patrol Division and then to the Community Services Unit. In 2015, Deputy Chief Blake achieved the rank of Lieutenant and spent the next few years commanding the Patrol Division Day Shift, Community Police Services Unit, Special Victims Unit, and Combined Dispatch.
Deputy Chief Blake has been recognized by many organizations for his excellence in service to his community. The Norwalk Police Department has awarded Deputy Chief Blake with the Police Service Cross, Medal of Merit (three times), Distinguished Award of Service, Meritorious Commendation (eight times), Unit Citation (two times), and Officer of the Month (fifteen times). Additional recognitions include the Courage of Connecticut Award, ASIS Community Service Award, U.S. Attorney’s Office Community Policing Award, U.S. Attorney’s Office Award (eight times), Achievement in Criminal Investigation Award (Bridgeport Police Department), and the Irish Echo Law and Order Award.
In December of 2022, Mayor Rilling appointed James Walsh as Interim Chief and Terrence Blake as Deputy Chief following the retirement announcement of Chief Kulhawik.