NAUGATUCK — Two top administrators in the Naugatuck Police Department’s detective bureau have retired.
Lt. Gregory Dean, head of the bureau for the past three-and-a-half years, and Detective Sgt. Randy Ireland, who has been in the bureau for four years, are leaving after 20 years of service, apiece.
Police Chief Christopher Edson said he is still deciding who will replace Dean as head of the bureau, which has eight detectives, two sergeants and a lieutenant. The department has 57 sworn officers.
Edson praised the careers of Dean and Ireland, as did the Board of Mayor and Burgesses when it approved their retirements Tuesday night.
“They have had fine careers and will be missed,” Edson said. “I wish them well in retirement.”
Police work was a second career for Dean, who worked as an electrician for nine years before joining the Naugatuck Police Department in 1995.
“I have enjoyed interacting with the public and putting myself in a position where I could help people,” he said.
The detective bureau, he said, was both challenging and rewarding. Many of the investigations, he said, were lengthy and detailed and presented different challenges than patrol. When those crimes were solved, he said, it was a great feeling of satisfaction because it often helped victims.
“And some of the most simple cases, when you solve them, can kind of bring clarity to a problem someone is having in their lives and it makes them feel better in the long term,” he said.
As a detective, Dean had also overseen youth investigations, which he said were often complex because they involved working with children in their school lives and at home. He also has worked with focus groups meant to help local seniors and children.
In his private life, Dean has also dedicated much of his time to helping children, serving as a volunteer youth sports coach for several years in various local athletic leagues.
“This is my community and for me it’s more than a job,” he said. “It’s more a sense of where I live, where my home is, and where I raised my kids. I have always felt a connection to the community as a whole.”
Ireland also grew up in the community and feels close to the people of Naugatuck.
At the beginning of his career, he was one of three members of the original bike unit and felt like he was able to interact with the public on a personal level through that experience. Ireland was also instrumental in helping the department improve the ways in which it addresses domestic violence issues.
“The things that stick out in my mind are all of the different people I’ve worked with over the years and there are many cases I remember, some that were fun and some that were serious,” he said.
Ireland also is heavily involved as a community volunteer, both as a member of the Naugatuck Youth Services board and with the Naugatuck Shepherd Salem Masonic Lodge No. 78.
“Right now, I’m going to concentrate on my family life,” he said. “Working 50 to 60 hours a week, every week, obviously takes a toll on the family, and I’m going to be with them for the immediate future.”
Dean will receive a pension of $90,611 per year, while Ireland will receive a pension of $88,188 per year.