Police Chief John Troxell, who served Weston as a police officer for 36 years, announced on Wednesday, Feb. 8, that he is retiring, effective Saturday, Feb. 25.
Because of unused vacation time, Troxell’s last day was Friday, Feb. 10. Sgt. Matthew Brodacki has been named sergeant-in-charge until a new chief is hired in the coming months.
Troxell, who has been chief since January 2008, said selecting a retirement date of Feb. 25 has always been important to him because it is the anniversary of when he was sworn in as a full-time officer in 1981.
He said he is proud of his accomplishments in his three and a half decades as a police officer in Weston and nine years as its police chief.
“I feel like I have accomplished so many things that I wanted to go out and accomplish,” said Troxell. “We brought in the school resource officer (SRO) program, we got each of the officers more and more training and equipment.”
Troxell said he is proud of the department’s record of a “fair, unbiased, hiring and promotional process,” “improved safety and security of the school campus,” and the “implementation of a regional forensics crime lab.”
Troxell, 58, is the oldest member of the department and he said he often feels as if he’s on a “different planet” regarding policing in this age.
“I am ready to hand the torch off to someone with a new vision of where the police department needs to go in the 21st Century,” he said. “The department needs to bring in someone new with fresh ideas for this younger generation of police officers.”
Troxell moved to Weston in 1972, when he was in eighth grade. “Every time I come into work I feel like I should kiss the ground,” said Troxell. “Weston let me climb the ranks, and for every rung of the ladder that I have climbed, I am thankful.”
He recently moved back to Weston, and called his retirement a “family decision.” He said he is looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren, his family and his dog Smoochy.
“When you’re a cop, you know when it’s your time to go,” said Troxell. “This is my time.”
Troxell praised former police Chief Joseph McAleenan for being his “mentor of sorts” and giving him a chance as a Weston police officer when he was only 22 years old.
“Chief McAleenan taught me three rules that I followed as a police officer for my whole life,” said Troxell. “You have to know people, you have to treat people with respect, and you have to sit and listen.”
He said without McAleenan’s guidance he doesn’t think he would have been the police officer he turned out to be.
When McAleenan died in 2014, Troxell went to his funeral in North Carolina to speak on behalf of the Weston Police Department. “It was an honor to get to know him and work with him,” said Troxell. “He taught me what it meant to be part of this community.”
Troxell’s mother, Jacqueline, said his relationship with McAleenan shaped him into the person he is today. “We’re very proud of who John is and who he has become,” said Jacqueline. “It’s dangerous to be a police officer and we’re happy for all that he has accomplished.”
First Selectman Nina Daniel said she was “sorry” to see Troxell leave the department, but ultimately wished him the best in his future.
“Chief Troxell has served the town very honorably for 36 years,” said Daniel. “Whomever we hire will have very big shoes to fill.”
Police Commission Chairman Bill Brady said the commission was “surprised” by Troxell’s announcement but understands the basis of his decision.
“The commission wishes him the best in his retirement,” said Brady. “We know he just moved back into town and we all look forward to seeing him around town.”
Brady said the commission is working hard to make the transition to a new chief as soon as possible.
“Hopefully we can streamline this hiring process,” said Brady. “We plan on taking three to four weeks to get applications and we’ll decide which of those fit the town best.”
Brady said the commission anticipates interviewing two to five applicants for the position, but said he isn’t worried about the state of the department in the interim.
“Sgt. Brodacki is in charge until a new chief is hired,” said Brady. “He is well qualified to handle that — I know we’ll be in good hands.”