Darien Police Chief To Retire After Over 40 Years In Law Enforcement

DARIEN, CT — After 40-plus years of service to the town, Darien Police Chief Donald B. Anderson will retire.

Anderson submitted a letter to Darien Police Commission Chair Kim Huffard on Feb. 1 announcing his plans to retire from active service effective April 1.

“I leave you with the words of the immortal Ralph Waldo Emerson; ‘To know one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have succeeded,'” Anderson wrote in his letter.

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“To those residents, business owners and visitors to the town of Darien whose lives I may have touched, in good times and in bad, I thank you for the opportunity to have provided public safety service for over four decades and I know, with utmost certainty, that some whose paths have crossed with mine have in fact breathed just a little bit easier. For that, with sincere appreciation and humility, I count this career as a success.”

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Anderson joined the DPD in 1983 and rose to the rank of sergeant in 1999, lieutenant in 2000, and he also served as a member of the detective division and as a member of the specialized accident investigation team.

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In 2013, Anderson became captain and served as the captain of the administrative services bureau. He was appointed as the 11th chief in department history in 2019 following the retirement of Ray Osborne.

The son of the late Bruce M. Anderson, who also served as Darien’s police chief from 1988 to 1993, Anderson recounted his experience in law enforcement.

“This is simply not a profession that you can ‘love’ each and every day,” he noted.

“I have valiantly, but too often futilely, tried to breathe life back into human bodies ranging from infants to octogenarians. I have been bled on, barfed on and spit on. I have reluctantly walked up the front walkway of numerous Darien addresses, with an increased pulse and knees knocking, to make a death. notification, all too often on the sudden and tragic passing of a young resident, knowing full well that this ominous knock on the front door will forever change the course of history for that local family,” Anderson wrote.

“I have had my manhood, my IQ, my judgement and even my family lineage questioned far too many times to count. I have witnessed events, as all police officers have while serving in both small towns and big cities, which are simply things no one would ever want to see,” he added .”I have lost colleagues and friends at an early age due to the ongoing stressors and rigors of this profession, some even by their own hand. So, although this is a job that you cannot always ‘love,’ it will forever remain a job that should always be respected and, yes, even admired.”

Anderson also thanked his family for their support over the years, and former police commissioners.

On Monday night at the regularly scheduled Board of Selectmen meeting, which was broadcast on Darien TV79, First Selectman Jon Zagrodzky lauded Anderson and his father for serving the town for over 70 combined years.

“It’s just a remarkable testament to their commitment as officers and their commitment to this town to have people like that who would make that kind of career dedication,” Zagrodzky said. “While we’re sad to see [Chief Donald Anderson] go, it’s been terrific to have someone of his standing at the head of our police department.”

Zagrodzky said a celebration for Anderson will take place in the future.

Police Commissioner Brent Hayes told Patch the commission will be conducting interviews for a new chief in the weeks ahead, and the plan is to have a new chief announced before Anderson’s departure.

“Chief Anderson’s dedication and service have had a profound impact on the Darien Police Department and our community. His more than 40 years of commitment reflect not only professional excellence but also a genuine care for the well-being of the families in town,” Hayes told Patch via email. “Chief Anderson is a person of great integrity, and I’m proud to call him a friend. Don will be missed by many in our community and I look forward to hearing his retirement stories in the years ahead.”

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