was appointed Wednesday by Mayor Dan Drew to in a ceremony at attended by his family, city dignitaries and religious leaders.
McKenna’s entrance into the auditorium was lauded by the Middletown Police Color Guard with Councilman Thomas J. Serra as master of ceremonies and the opening prayer offered by Sister Mary McCarthy.
Two moments of levity were interjected into this formal event.
In an anecdote told by Drew as he brandished a well-recognized city parking ticket, given to a Mr. William McKenna Senior that very evening an hour before at a Main Street restaurant.
Drew said if anyone would deserve a parking ticket reprieve it would be the new chief’s father, but the fact that no compensation would be made, “attests to his character,” Drew said.
, McKenna spoke to longtime family friend Sister McCarthy in the audience. “I’ve always been ‘Billy Boy.’ Sister, I’m sorry but I’m no longer Billy Boy. For you, it will be ‘Chief Billy Boy,’” McKenna said to much audience laughter.
At the conclusion, the Rev. Edward C. Goetzy offered a benediction and family and friends filed into the ballroom for a celebratory dinner.
Middletown hasn't had a permanent police chief since the city's first female head Lynn M. Baldoni retired in July 2009, after serving the city for 26 years. Both Baldoni and former Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano were among the many who attended Wednesday night's ceremony.