After 34 years as a member of the East Windsor Police Department, Michael Hannaford recently called it a career.
Hannaford, who retired as a sergeant in July, said it was enough time, and his sons Michael and Andrew themselves are now police officers.
“It got to the point my knees and back were aching as well,” Hannaford, 52, said.
Hannaford is now co-owner of a package store in Windsor Locks, Spirits On The Rocks. A retirement party is being held for him on Wednesday.
Hannaford began a career in law enforcement by accident when a friend of his heard about a police explorer program and they both went to join. Through the program, he met a couple of people who steered down the right path and he became a police officer.
He said he is pretty satisfied with the career he had in East Windsor. In addition to becoming a sergeant in the department, Hannaford worked as an investigator, and was president of the union on and off for about 20 years.
“I felt I was treated very well by the community and the government,” Hannaford said.
While he did look at police departments in other communities, Hannaford said he never felt a reason to leave East Windsor.
“It just came down to I didn’t have a dislike for East Windsor,” Hannaford said. “You make look at other departments but different’s not always better.”
During his career he saw a lot of changes in the department, from advances in technology and equipment to the type of training and certifications the officers must undergo.
“When I started we didn’t have an FM radio (in police cruisers) or air conditioning,” Hannaford said. “We had a siren and a two-way radio. Back then it was a crap shoot if you could reach anybody on the radio.”
Hannaford said what he like most was serving the community, doing right by people and solving crime.
“Getting the people who did the crime into court and let the court do its job,” Hannaford said.
Police Chief Edward DeMarco Jr. called Hannaford a very accomplished investigator and supervisor who brought a wealth of knowledge to the department.
“He’s had to do a lot of difficult investigations and internal investigations,” DeMarco said. “He was always professional. On a personal note, I’m going to miss him a lot.”
What did Hannaford say he liked the least about his job as police officer. The blizzards, hurricanes, tornados and ice storms he had to work through. Police officers can’t sit and wait storms when there are emergencies.
“You had to find a way to get there,” he said.