Chief Thomas J. Wydra began his police career with the Hamden Police Department on February 26, 1993. Upon graduating from the Connecticut Police Academy on June 14, 1993, he was assigned to the Patrol Division. While assigned to the Patrol Division, Chief Wydra served as a field training officer, and as a member of the Honor Guard and Special Response Team.
In 1996, Chief Wydra was transferred to the Street Crime Unit of the Investigative Services Division where he served as an investigator and undercover narcotics officer. During this assignment, Chief Wydra was also temporarily assigned to the Statewide Narcotics Task Force and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. He was transferred to the Statewide Auto Theft Task Force in 2000.
On September 20, 2000, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned to the Patrol Division. Chief Wydra was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on May 1, 2002 and remained assigned to the Patrol Division. On November 22, 2005, Chief Wydra was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief after scoring 1st on the Civil Service examination. He was assigned to command of the Investigative Services Division.
On July 1, 2006, he was appointed by Mayor Craig B. Henrici as the 9th Chief of Police for the Hamden Police Department. Chief Wydra has also served as the Legal Traffic Agent and Director of the Hamden Traffic Department since 2008.
Chief Wydra is the recipient of numerous department awards, as well as the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Award (1997), American Red Cross Heroes of New Haven County Award (2002), Hamden Elk’s Police Officer of the Year Award (2004), and a United States Attorney’s Award (2004). He was the President of the Hamden Police Union from 1999-2005, and also served on the Department’s Rules and Regulations Committee in 2005.
He is a Past President of the South Central Chiefs of Police Association, and a member of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association. In 2017, he was appointed by Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers of the Connecticut Supreme Court to the Connecticut Advisory Council for Victims of Crime, which has primary duties to make recommendations to the Office of Victim Services for the State of Connecticut.
In 2017, Chief Wydra was appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy to serve on the Police Officers Standards and Training Council for the State of Connecticut.
Chief Wydra graduated from the 223rd Session of the F.B.I. National Academy in December 2005, and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree (with Honors) in Public Safety Administration from Charter Oak State College.