Joseph Pereira has dreamed of becoming a police officer his entire life.
On Wednesday the Ansonia Police Commission gave the 39-year-old Meriden resident the chance to fulfill that wish.
The commission voted unanimously to make Pereira Ansonia’s newest police officer during their monthly meeting.
Afterward Mayor David Cassetti swore in Pereira, who will begin training in the police academy Friday.
Pereira attended Wednesday’s meeting with his 10-year-old daughter and wife. He thanked the police commissioners for voting to hire him.
He told the police commission he has been self-employed since 2004, and has owned a bread route and a flooring business.
Ann Pitney, the chair of the Board of Police Commissioners, asked Pereira what drew him to the job.
“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a child,” he said. “I’ve pursued it later in life than I would have liked to, but it’s just something I believe in. I want to spend the second half of my life doing something that I’m proud of and something I believe in.”
Hale said Pereira did well in interviews and “brings a wealth of life experience” to the job.
“Welcome aboard,” Pitney said.
The position pays about $63,000 per year.
With Pereira’s hire, Ansonia Police Chief Kevin Hale said the department is a single officer short of its full complement, though he’s also expecting a patrol sergeant to retire this week.
He said police are working to recruit more applicants and secure seats in upcoming police academy classes with a view to bringing the department to full manpower.