Sergeant Thomas Romeo was recently promoted to Lieutenant Detective in the (NRPD). The position is a provisional-temporary appointment. After Romeo passes an exam in October, he will be considered for the permanent position.
Romeo grew up in North Reading, graduated from and has a masters degree in criminal justice administration from Western New England College. He also served as an adjunct professor in criminal justice at Western New England College.
Romeo, a North Reading resident, joined the NRPD in 1985. He was promoted to detective in 1994, and eventually to patrol sergeant in 2008.
"I served as the shift supervisor and traffic and safety supervisor," he said.
He has been recognized several times throughout his career. He was awarded by the DEA and the New England Narcotics Investigative Association, and he was given the Frank J. Romeo award, an award named after his late father, for being the NRPD police officer of the year.
He is honored to be the new Lieutenant Detective for the NRPD.
"I am extremely humbled to be assigned as the first lieutenant detective in the history of the NRPD. I have been proud everyday to be a member of this organization," he said. "I started my quest to be a police officer in my mid teens with role models like former Chief Henry Purnell. When I became a police officer Chief Purnell was my mentor and was what I consider the ultimate police officer."
In his new role, he will be the commander of the Detective Division and responsible for evidence and criminal and drug investigations. He will also work with the courts and the district attorney's office.
What does he enjoy most about being a police officer? Helping people change their lives. Last fall, he arrested a male on drug charges. The male recently approached Romeo while he was working a detail and thanked him for "turning his life around."
"Although not a daily occurrence when it does happen it makes you feel good to have helped someone. There is nothing like getting a thank you note in the mail from someone you helped either through a family or personal issue," he said.