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By Suzanne McLauglin
The Republican

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - A ceremony Thursday promoted two lieutenants to captain, including the second woman to reach that rank.
Eugene Dexheimer and Catherine Lee Bennett were promoted by Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet. Paula C. Meara, the former police chief, was the first woman in the department to be promoted to captain.
The two captains were pinned Thursday morning at the Raymond M. Sullivan Public Safety Complex following a ceremony to commemorate the seventh anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Fitchet praised the new captains.
"Both Captain Dexheimer and Captain Bennett are proven leaders and will make this Police Department a better place with their continued hard work and dedication to the citizens of Springfield."
Fitchet said the choice for promotion was difficult and that all five lieutenants who applied for the promotion are qualified and dedicated.
The Police Department has eight captains, 17 lieutenants, 40 sergeants and 406 patrolmen.
Dexheimer will oversee the midnight to 8 a.m. uniformed division.
Bennett will oversee the 4 p.m. to midnight uniformed division.
Dexheimer started his police career in July 1977. He was promoted to sergeant in 1987 and lieutenant in 1993. He has worked in the Traffic Bureau, Street Crimes Unit, Detective Bureau and was the court liaison.
Bennett became a police officer in 1983. She was promoted to sergeant in 1986 and lieutenant in 1995. In her career she has worked as director of the Police Academy and was assigned to the Records Division, Internal Investigation Unit and the Traffic Bureau. She was the first woman motorcycle officer and has worked in the Narcotics Division and the Crime Prevention Bureau.
Springfield Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet, left, congratulates Catherine Lee Bennett and Eugene Dexheimer after they were sworn in as police captains Thursday at the Raymond Sullivan Public Safety Complex in Springfield. At right is Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.

Wire Service
 
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