West Hartford Chief of Police Tracey Gove couldn’t believe he was recognizing Officer Jose Rivera for his retirement at a ceremony at Town Hall on Friday morning.
Gove and Rivera had been at the police academy at the same time in 1993.
“You’re too young to retire,” Gove quipped.
But Rivera, who on Nov. 28 will have spent 20 years with the West Hartford Police Department, will leave the police department on Nov. 30 to become a school security officer at Conard High School.
Rivera served in the patrol, traffic and detective divisions, and also was the student resource officer at Hall High for the past four years.
Rivera was the Exchange Club’s Police Officer of the Year in 2012, and he also received several unit citations and letters of commendation from the community.
What stuck out most for Gove was Rivera’s “dedication and loyalty.”
Rivera, for his part, was gracious in the recognition in the Town Council Chambers packed with family, friends and fellow officers who were also in attendance for the promotion of three members of the police department.“For me, it’s always been about the people I’ve worked with,” Rivera said. “It’s been an honor and a pleasure working with such a magnificent group of people in the police department. … It’s been 20 years, and I’ve gotten to meet some of the nicest people. I’m very grateful.”