GREENWICH, Conn. -- Two of Greenwich's finest are retiring.
Town natives — Master Police Officer John Perna and Detective Timothy Powell — each have spent 28 years on the force.
In 1997, Perna was awarded the prestigious Dr. John A. Clarke Award for his actions. One evening, he and another officer were carpooling to work when they saw a vehicle slam into the Jersey barrier and burst into flames. They raced to the vehicle and pulled the victim from the car before it was fully engulfed in flames.
He also has received letters of gratitude from citizens, citing his actions at medical saves, his participation in local charity events, and his empathetic consoling of grieving family members over the loss of loved ones. Perna once received a letter from a motorist who he had stopped thanking him for his professionalism.
Perna was promoted to Master Police Officer in 2009. He has received numerous commendations for excellent police work.
“Officer Perna has lived up to the department’s vision to improve the quality of life within Greenwich while at the same time maintaining respect for individual rights and human dignity," said Police Chief James Heavey. "I am very proud to have served with John and wish him the best in the next stage of his life.”
For Powell, police work was a family tradition. His father is retired Greenwich Police Detective Michael Powell, and the two combine for 56 years with the Greenwich Police Department.
In his years as a detective since 2000, Powell investigated everything from burglaries to murder. In December 2005, Powell and his fellow investigators were recognized as the Officers of the Month for their investigation into “the James Bond Gang” who were blamed for numerous burglaries and robberies in the tri-state area.
Powell was the lead investigator in two heinous sexual assault cases. In one case, the suspect was sexually assaulting mentally handicapped victims and the other was the husband of a daycare operator who sexually assaulted a young child.
He has also participated in numerous organized charitable events.
“Tim is a Greenwich native that always had a strong personal and professional investment in the well being of our community. Tim’s unwavering positive energy and desire to do his part for the Greenwich community was evident in everything he did," Heavey said. "We are fortunate that Tim will continue to serve the Town as a Special Police Officer. I am very proud to have served with Tim and wish him the best in the next stage of his life.”
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