Person of the Week
Officer Stephen Marsico Is Proud to Serve His Hometown
Lifelong East Haven resident Stephen Marsico recently transferred from Stamford to East Haven to serve as a police officer in his hometown. (Photo courtesy of Stephen Marsico )
When he was just a little boy, Stephen Marsico listened to his grandfather’s stories about his days as a police officer. Ever since then, Stephen knew that was what he wanted to do.
“I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” says Stephen, who studied criminal justice and sociology at Southern Connecticut State University. “In the middle of my college career, I started applying to different departments. It was a lengthy and sometimes frustrating process, but it was something I always wanted to do.”
Being a lifelong East Haven resident, Stephen always dreamed of working in his hometown, but he was first hired as a police officer in Stamford. He worked in Stamford for two years. He enjoyed his first job in STamford, which has a focus on community policing.
“It was a busy city and I worked with a great group of guys,” says Stephen. “I enjoyed just being out there and being active with the community, especially the kids. I’d play basketball and football with them and try to get officers’ names out there and give the profession a better look.”
After two years in Stamford, a position opened up in East Haven. As much as he enjoyed the brotherhood he found in Stamford, Stephen wanted to return to his hometown. He had seen how his family had served the community—his mother teaches at the high school, and his brother and father work for the Department of Public Works—and he wanted to give back to East Haven.
“I grew up here, I live here, and I wanted to be back home,” says Stephen. “I wanted to protect my own town, interact with the kids in town, and I’d heard nothing but great things about the department. It was always one of my dreams to become a cop in East Haven.”
Stephen was hired on Sept. 10 and was on the road by Sept. 17. Having been on the job for a little more than a month, he has enjoyed learning the ropes of the department and getting out into the community he loves. One of his favorite things about the East Haven Police Department is its focus on community policing.
“I like interacting with people and getting involved in community and I try to do that as much as I can, whether it’s greeting businesses, patrolling an area, or talking to young kids or our old populations,” says Stephen. “Community policing is a big part of how I police. It’s about treating everybody with respect. The more you interact with the public and the more you show respect to the public, the more respect you’re going to get. The East Haven Police Department is big on community policing and the way they police and the way I police is a perfect match.”
Though COVID makes it more difficult, Stephen has been taking the necessary precautions to interact with members of the community. Having grown up in town, he is not only familiar with the town and residents, but has had longtime connections with several people already serving the EHPD, including Robert Celenatano, Billy Coppola, and John Fraenza.
Growing up, Stephen had a passion for hockey. He attended East Haven High School for two years before being recruited to play at a prep school in Massachusetts as a junior and senior. The experience not only helped Stephen appreciate his hometown, but it also taught him about diversity.
“I missed the town and missed my friends from back home and it reinforced the idea I wanted to work in my town and serve it the best I can,” says Stephen. “The school was very diverse so I learned to interact with different cultures, different people, and people who do things in a different way, which helped me better understand, connect, and relate to different cultures and people.”
Stephen enjoyed his hockey career and while he was in college, he volunteered as a coach. Due to the demands of applying for and becoming a police officer, he hasn’t coached in recent years, but he is hoping to get involved in coaching again in coming years.
Though the path to finding his career and settling into his new position take up most of his time, Stephen finds ways to decompress from his job, which he says can “be stressful at times.” He enjoys hanging out with his friends and family and going to the gym.
Stephen is also looking forward to discovering other ways to give back to the town through the police department, which is involved in several initiatives in the community. He also has a goal of becoming a field training officer and perhaps taking the sergeant’s exam in the future.
“Right now I’m focused on learning the way they do things here,” says Stephen. “I’d love to become a field training officer so I can help the new recruits and officers learn the way East Haven does things and help them on the road to becoming a good cop.”
For now, Stephen is focused on his job as a patrol officer, community policing, and serving his hometown. He encourages residents to reach out to him and the other members of the East Haven Police Department with any needs.
“No matter if they just want to talk or need help in some way, they can reach out—we have a lot of help we can give and can connect people with different resources,” says Stephen. “I will do whatever I can to serve, protect, and talk them through hard times.
“To come back to East Haven and be able to police it is an unbelievable feeling,” he says.
Jenn McCulloch is the Correspondent for Zip06. Email Jenn at .