Widely Respected Police Detective Retires Following 35 Years Of Dedicated Service
Shortly before 3 pm, Monday, June 1, Newtown Police Detective Joseph Joudy radioed in to Newtown Emergency Communications Center (NECC), and signed off at the end of a shift for the final time.
“NECC to all Newtown units,” came the response over the air. “After 35 years of dedicated service, Detective Joe Joudy has made his final end-of-watch call. Detective Joudy, you have serviced Newtown with pride and dignity, through all that it has been through. You have been a friend and a mentor, distinguished yourself in your work ethic, and stood for all that is right in law enforcement.
“You have earned our respect and gratitude,” NECC Director Maureen Will continued on June 1, just before 3 pm. “Enjoy the retirement that you so richly deserve. We have the watch from here.”
Approximately three dozen colleagues had gathered in the parking lot behind Town Hall South that afternoon, celebrating the culmination of what Police Chief James Viadero called “a career of distinguished service.” As Joudy emerged on the hillside from the northern side of the building, following a dirt path down a hillside connecting the building’s parking lots, a round of applause went up.
Reaching the group waiting for him in the southern section of the rear parking lot, Joudy was given a second round of applause. Colleagues, including fellow detective and police officers, and First Selectman Dan Rosenthal were all gathered for a brief celebration that served as an informal send off until a proper retirement celebration can be held.
With COVID-19 precautions in place, Viadero had noted during the June 2 Police Commission meeting that “We’ll have a full party at a later time. We just couldn’t do that now.”
In presenting the retiring detective with a proclamation on June 1, Rosenthal mentioned that he had been present for the beginning and end of Joudy’s service.
“My grandfather was in office when you were sworn in to service, and I was there in my stroller,” Rosenthal joked. “And of course, here we are today.”
Gesturing to the large group gathered in the rear parking lot of Town Hall South, Rosenthal told Joudy said it “was clear you’re well loved.”
“Thank you for your service,” he said in closing. “I thank you, and your community thanks you.”
Chief Viadero presented a plaque to Joudy. While doing so, he noted that the retiree had also served as a police officer, field training officer, range master, and senior firearms instructor.
“As a founding member of the Newtown Police Department, your knowledge, experience, and presence will be deeply missed,” Viadero read from the plaque.
The award also noted Joudy’s “honorable service to the citizens of Newtown,” and offered “appreciation for your many contributions to the Newtown Police Department.”
Looking at his retiring detective, Viadero noted, “Of everyone I’ve known in Newtown, you’ve always been here. We’re gonna miss you. Thank you for 35 good years,” the chief said.
Sergeant Philip Hynes presented a gift, saying it was something Joudy “wanted for years, but haven’t done for yourself.” The gift, a Colt 1911, was presented on behalf of “the sworn and civilian staff, all of us, who did a collection for you,” Hynes said. Joudy was visibly emotional at the gift.
Detective Joudy has been, Hynes stated, “one of those people who is an example of what a cop should be.
“Joe gets it. He knows that we are all a family. Family might not always get along, and we might not always like each other, but when it comes down to it, family sticks up for family.
“Joe has defined that during his entire career.”
Turning to the detective, his new gift in his hands, Hynes said, “You are always welcome on the range.”
The brief ceremony concluded with most in attendance offering quick hugs or handshakes — most of which were immediately followed by sprays of hand sanitizer — and conversation. Chief Viadero had also presented Joudy with a pair of large shadow box frames filled with mementos of Joudy’s career, including old uniform shirts and badges.
His colleagues looked at those, and wished him well, before many needed to return to duty.
‘A Well-Respected Officer’
Ahead of last week’s gathering outside the police station, the police chief spoke to The Newtown Bee about Detective Joudy.
As a longtime Newtown resident and fellow law enforcement colleague, Viadero said he knew and had great respect for Joudy long before he became the now-retired detective’s day-to-day supervisor.
“Working down in Bridgeport, I had the opportunity to touch base with Joe from time to time,” Viadero said. “Then when I served as a Newtown police commissioner, I got to know him even better as one of our detectives.”
Viadero said he shares a great respect for Joudy with many other Newtown police personnel past and present, because “Joe had a good reputation, a high institutional knowledge about Newtown, and was a well-respected officer here.”
According to the chief, Joudy was a substantial asset to the department and the entire community.
“I think his ability to communicate with people was critical. Joe was a really nice person — salt of the earth — and he could talk with anybody. He was very easygoing, and that would be evident whether I observed him interacting with members of the general public as well as those he arrested or was transporting to court,” Viadero said.
“He always treated everybody the same — really respectful, very good communicator, and he had a gift for putting people at ease. Joe was very down to earth,” the chief said.
The local chief had one long-established thing in common with the retiring detective, he mentioned.
“He started working in Newtown on May 22, 1985, and that was the day I graduated the academy and started my first day as an officer in Bridgeport. So we always shared that common ground,” Viadero said, adding that prior to his work on the Newtown force, Joudy was already highly experienced.
“He was an auxiliary state policeman, he was a Danbury special police officer working extra duty jobs, and he was a constable for the Danbury Fairgrounds,” Viadero said. “That involved being a police officer on the fairgrounds during events there. And before he came to Newtown, he worked as a marshal at the Danbury courthouse providing security and transporting prisoners.”
Viadero said Joudy’s lengthy resume in law enforcement was what likely made him such an effective officer and, eventually, detective in Newtown.
“Joe has been a pleasure to work with, and he has a wealth of knowledge. I’d say any officer who has come to the department over the last 20 years has had a strong relationship with him in one way or another,” Viadero said. “Joe has been very involved in the selection process for new officers — particularly doing background investigations.
“And once new officers are hired, Joe would act as quartermaster, getting them anything they needed as far as equipment was concerned. And he was a senior firearms training officer and has been for years. So he’s worked with every officer on that front and was well-liked and respected,” Viadero added.
Between his time as a patrol officer and detective, the chief said Joudy received four commendations for his work.
“And every day he’s on the job he comes in ready to work,” Viadero said. “You give him a case and he handles it, whether it’s some type of financial crime case, a search warrant application, doing case follow-ups, or transporting prisoners to court as our court liaison officer. In that role he’s an integral part of our relationship with officials over at the Danbury court.”
A Friend And Mentor
Maureen Will, who offered the on-air farewell to her friend and mentor on June 1, also shared a few thoughts with The Newtown Bee on Joudy’s career and subsequent retirement. The two met when Will was a teenager in the Explorer Program, back when the program was based out of Edmond Town Hall.
“He gave us a lecture and I would always see him when we came for meetings or did ride-alongs,” she said. “We next met when I was in Brookfield — he was a detective and I was the Youth Officer.”
Will was a police officer in Brookfield for 30 years; she served as Youth Officer from 1987 until 1995, when she was promoted to a lieutenant.
“I would come in to [Newtown] to see [former Police Chief] Mike Kehoe to discuss juvenile cases and stuff and Joe would be there; by then they were down here at 3 Main Street,” she said.
Joudy was never afraid to share his knowledge with others, Will said.
“He was always willing to give me help if Mike wasn’t around,” she added. “The knowledge that man has of this town and of investigative techniques is immense, and he never hesitated to give advice or ‘tips.’”
When Will retired from Brookfield PD in early 2008, by that time a captain, Joudy “called me to congratulate me, and was the first one here to shake my hand when I took over as the Communications Director,” the role Will moved into less than six months later. “Joe and I would usually always meet outside in the fresh air to talk and chat, generally check up on one another, especially after 12/14.
“He’s a friend and mentor to so many and always took time to explain the ‘whys,’” she said.
“I’ll miss his smile and some of his crazy jokes,” she added, “but I also know that if I needed him, he would be there.”