Chief Stephen Pugner has the overall responsibility for the professional, legal, and efficient operation of the Bethel Police Department after being promoted from his previous rank of Captain in July 2020.

Chief Pugner was hired in 2000 and during his career he has worked as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Patrol Sergeant, and Captain. Chief Pugner is also a trained Accident Reconstruction Specialist and served many years on the department's Major Accident Team, including time as the leader of that team. Chief Pugner also served as the department's Field Training Coordinator where he oversaw the entire training program for new officers, including assisting with recruitment and hiring.

Chief Pugner holds an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Naugatuck Community College, A Bachelor's Degree in Public Safety Administration from Charter Oak State College, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Marist College.