Newtown Native Is Also The Community’s Newest Police Officer
John Facto, a former Botsford Fire Rescue firefighter and local emergency dispatcher, has returned to his hometown as its most recently hired police officer. He is already known among NPD staff, according to Newtown Community Services Sergeant William Chapman, “as a reliable and valuable teammate, and his reputation in Stratford precedes him as such as well.”
Facto told The Newtown Bee during a brief interview that he is pleased to be back helping keep residents safe and armed with a lifetime of knowledge about how to get around the community quickly and efficiently as he responds to calls for service.
“I’ve been interested in police work basically my entire life, really since childhood,” Facto admitted. “So as soon as I turned 18, I began the application process to become an emergency dispatcher so I could get my foot in the door and begin learning all the ins and outs of emergency services.”
But despite his success as a young telecommunicator, the law enforcement side of many of the calls he was handling continued to beckon him strongly.
Facto said he had a couple of good examples to also inspire him.
“Both of my grandfathers were police officers,” he said. “My father’s father served in Bridgeport, and my mother’s father worked in a department in New Jersey. Unfortunately, both had passed away before I was born, so I never got to meet them.”
Facto said the transition from dispatching for Newtown to the police academy, where he was sponsored as a newly hired officer in Stratford, provided no down time in between.
“When I resigned from here, I immediately began my actual law enforcement career,” he said. “I served in Stratford a little over ten years, where I worked in the patrol division on the midnight shift.”
Facto eventually moved to the earlier evening shift, where he remained until arriving to the force in Newtown, where he works the same shift.
During his decade in Stratford, Facto became a field training officer.
“A lot of those who joined the force after me, at least a quarter of the current patrol division in Stratford, I helped train,” he said. Facto is also a state-certified instructor providing training in firearms, use of force, off-duty police encounters, night shooting, chemical impact, and less lethal munitions.
“I really enjoy serving in the patrol capacity, but have also expressed interest here in being utilized as a field training instructor since I remain state certified,” he said, “and I’m still current in my post instructor skills, so I would like to participate in training applying a lot of my field experience in Stratford.”
Facto said Newtown is understandably a “night and day difference” from working in Stratford.
A Medal of Valor honoree for taking down an assault weapon suspect hand-to-hand, Facto said he appreciates a beautiful new police headquarters he gets to report to every shift. Just a few weeks into his transfer, he is also looking forward to applying his training assisting and protecting Newtown’s more vulnerable residents.
Facto said there have been numerous incidents where he was called to assist with crisis intervention and individuals in emotional crises, where just being able to sit and comfort them until they calmed down was very personally and professionally gratifying.
“In numerous cases, I’d ride along with them to the hospital, and a lot of these individuals thanked me saying how they appreciated the fact that I really cared about the outcome of the situation,” he said.
Looking forward to the next decade and beyond, Facto said he sees himself remaining in Newtown.
“More or less remaining on patrol and offering whatever lessons and training I can as an instructor and field training officer,” he said.
Editor John Voket can be reached at email@example.com.