Over the past 25 years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of our local police officers. Naturally, after all this time, I’ve seen so many of them retire and move on. Some, I’ve stayed in touch with, others are just gone with the wind. But I still remember each and every one of them.
Pre-pandemic I most likely would have gotten a heads-up and had an opportunity to say goodbye, but this weekend that didn’t happen and one of my absolute favorite members of the OPD left without even the slightest hint.
There was only one other time that I cried when one of my boys in blue left, and that was back in 2012, soon after opening Orange LIve when Asst Police Chief Ed Koether retired after 30 years on the job.
So, who is the second Orange cop that made me cry? Believe it or not, Sgt John Aquino, 53, one of the kindest, friendliest, most understanding, and professional officers I’ve ever had the pleasure to have known.
Over the past 25 years, I always looked forward to seeing his smiling face at the Orange Country Fair, Firemen’s Carnival, Senior Health and Safety Fair, parades, and numerous public events. When my granddaughter was little and I was clueless about the newer child safety seats, it was John who helped teach me how to install it properly.
If I locked myself out of my car, which happened a lot, I was never embarrassed if he was the responding officer.
I remember how amazing it was the day Detective Aquino was sworn-in to the rank of Sergeant, before a standing-room-only crowd of family, friends, fellow officers, and the three Orange elementary school principals. See VIDEO HERE.
He was then assigned to the midnight shift as a Road Sergeant.
Then, this past Saturday, June 27, Sgt. Aquino worked his last shift with the Orange Police Department after 25 years of dedicated service to the Town of Orange.
Without much fanfare, John retired with Chief Robert Gagne presenting him with a plaque and his retirement badge.
Community Minded Officer
John was a member of the ATV unit, many times he participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run, as the D.A.R.E. Officer, he drove the Easter Bunny to the Lions Easter Egg Hunt at the Orange Fairgrounds, and he participated in the DEA’s Drug Take-Back Day for several years.
In November 2016 he was one of the Orange police who took on a scruffy look to raise money for the Jimmy Fund in Chloe Clemens’ name. It was the last time I can remember when the members of the department were allowed to go unshaven – but only for a month.
Sgt Aquino, 53, was a 25-year veteran of the Orange CT Police Department.
He graduated from the University of Bridgeport in 1989 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and an Associates Degree in Paralegal Studies.
He was appointed as a probationary officer in Orange on June 23, 1995.
He was assigned to the patrol division from June 1995 to February 2008.
In February 2008 the was assigned to the Investigative Services Unit, serving as the Youth and DARE Officer and in the capacity of School Resource Officer.
Sgt. Aquino went to school to become a child safety technician (installing child safety seats in vehicles).
He and wife, Francine have been married 25 years (on July 19) and they have two sons, John and Michael.
Congratulations John, thank you for your service and your friendship over the years. I wish you only happiness and success in your future endeavors. You are already missed.
Happy Anniversary to you and Francine.