Within her first year on the job as a Wilton Police Officer in 2010, Anna Tornello chased and tackled a bank robber.

“She was amazing,” said Chief John Lynch on May 11, when, in a ceremony at the town hall annex, that can-do attitude paid off for Tornello when she was promoted to the rank of sergeant. She is the first woman of that rank.

“Thanks everyone for being here,” Tornello told the crowd of well-wishers, friends, police and fire officers gathered in the meeting room of the annex.

Usually, officers have their husbands or wives pin their new badges at these ceremonies. Tornello has no family locally though, so she asked Lynch to do the honors.

“She also sings opera, and has an amazing voice,” Lynch said of the new sergeant. “She speaks three languages,” he said.

“Yes, Italian, English and French,” she said.

Tornello moved to the U.S. in 2003 from her native Italy, where she was a municipal police officer for seven years, and a member of the motorcycle unit emergency response team for six years, according to a biographical sketch provided by the department..

Before joining the Wilton Police Department in February of 2010, she was employed by the Connecticut Judicial Marshal Service.

As a cadet at the Connecticut Police Academy, she was the recipient of the prestigious Luciano Award, conferred for high academic achievement earning the top score among her peers.

In 2011 she was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for tackling the bank fraud suspect. She has since received numerous letters of commendation, recognition and appreciation from the public as well.

She is a four-time recipient of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving award for her dedication to DUI enforcement, and has twice been the recipient of the AAA Traffic Safety Hero award. She received extensive training in 2016 to become one of only 37 certified Drug Recognition Experts in the state, and has expertise on detection of drivers intoxicated by drugs.

She is a field training officer, an active member of the Fairfield County Crisis Negotiation Team, a recent graduate of the Fairfield County Detective School, a member of the Wilton Police Honor Guard, and serves as a regional hostage negotiator.

Tornello holds a bachelor’s degree in public safety from the Charter Oak State College with honors, and is pursuing a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology.

Her singing abilities have put her at the front of audiences for the International Day of Prayer, the annual 9/11 remembrance at the Wilton Fire Department, and charity concerts for the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee.

At the ceremony, Town Clerk Lori A. Kaback issued the oath of office.

First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice congratulated her.

“We are very proud of our police department. We sleep well at night knowing we are safe,” Vanderslice told the crowd.