Thursday marks a changing of the guard for both Madison and Branford police departments. Thirty-year department veteran Lt. Robert Stimpson of Madison, has retired while Branford's 27-year department veteran Detective William DeGoursey will be leaving to take an officer's position with Madison. Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm confirmed the news on Monday adding that two other officer positions will be filled.
Officer DeGoursey and the other new Madison hires, Jeff Mazzetta and Michael Brown, will be officially sworn in Thursday during a ceremony at police department headquarters.
Branford Police Chief Kevin Halloran said he was sorry to learn that DeGoursey was retiring but understood the decision, noting the financial benefits of making the switch as he has "maxed out" in regard to his local pension. "It will be difficult for the department to replace the experience and knowledge Detective DeGoursey has in the areas of crime scene investigations and forensics," commented Halloran.
Branford Police Captain Geoffrey Morgan, who has worked with DeGoursey nearly his entire career, called his fellow officer "complimentary." "His talent and years of expertise are going to be sorely missed," he said.
Morgan also added that DeGoursey began his career with Branford as a supernumerary (part-time) officer in 1987. He was just 18 years old and while able to become an officer, he was unable to purchase his own gun ammunition. Morgan said his mom had to purchase the ammo for him.
"Madison Police Department will definitely benefit from the experience and knowledge he will offer the Town of Madison," said Halloran. "I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors."
Halloran added that since July, Branford has had an unusually high turnover rate. They have had to replace eight officers due to retirements. In the next 1.5 years, Branford will have another 10 officers eligible for retirement.
Halloran said the department is looking to fill vacancies with Connecticut-certified police officers (lateral transfers).
Mazzetta and Brown formerly were with the state police, an organization that has provided Madison with several police officers.
Mazzetta was a state trooper for more than 20 years and before that was a law enforcement specialist with the U.S. Air Force, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Brown was among several state troopers from Troop F in Westbrook, CT to receive a Unit Citation Award last year. Unit awards are bestowed "to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts."
Drumm said he was pleased to be able to hire police officers with experience who are already trained, which saves the town money when it comes to training expenses.
"It's great to be able to get a seasoned officer who knows what he's doing," he said.
DeGoursey, Mazzetta and Brown will be sworn in Thursday during a ceremony at the Madison Police Department.