After more than 30 years with Waterford Police Department, Detective Sergeant Joseph DePasquale is retiring. Sgt. DePasquale’s last day will be Jan. 29, at which point he will begin a new career with the U.S. Marshall’s service.
Known to his fellow officers as "Joey D," his colleagues describe him as a "cops' cop, one of the guys who we all respect and admire. His experience and knowledge is irreplaceable, while his grin, subtle head nod and look from the corner of his eye, lets you know he has everything under control."
Sgt. DePasquale got his start at Waterford Police Department in the Supernumerary program in 1982. He was appointed as a Supernumerary Police Officer in May, 1984, becoming a full time Police Officer in August, 1984.
In 1986 he was assigned as a Marine Officer with the Marine Division and continued to serve as one of the department’s Marine Unit Boat Captains until his retirement. He was also assigned to the Emergency Response Force.
DePasquale was promoted to the rank of Detective in December, 1990, and was assigned to the Statewide Narcotics Task Force in January of 1991. In 1995, he spent 18 months working on a New York-based West African international credit card counterfeiting investigation called “Operation Silver Parrot” with the Queens, New York District Attorney’s Office, United States Secret Service and United States Postal Inspection Service.
From 1997 to 1998, DePasquale was assigned to the Statewide Organized Crime Investigative Task Force, working organized crime investigations and public corruption investigations. In October, 2000, he was promoted to Detective Sergeant and became the Detective Division Commanding Officer.
In August 2005, DePasquale became one of the first local police officers to be assigned to the newly-created Connecticut Intelligence Center based at the FBI New Haven Field Office. He worked with the center until December, 2007, during which time he went to the FBI National Academy, graduating in December 2005. He returned to Waterford Police Department in 2008 to reassume his position as Detective Division Commander.
"Those that have worked with him know that he remembers everything," the Waterford Police Department posted in a tribute to DePasquale on Facebook. "He can recall a car he pulled over in 1986 and give ridiculously detailed accounts of the conversation he had with the driver. Those that worked with him know just how much information he retains in his mind when it comes to criminal investigations. We know he is a true resource in Law Enforcement."
In his final full week on the job, Waterford Police Department did an exit interview with DePasquale asking about his experience with WPD. Here are his answers, from Waterford Police Department Facebook page:
Q. What did you enjoy the most about your time at the WPD?
A. In my career at the Waterford Police Department, I was afforded the opportunity to be assigned to specialized units with state and federal law enforcement agencies and was exposed to many diverse ventures and assignments. As an officer from a small agency, it was always unique as not many officers from a department the size of Waterford or even some of the larger police agencies would have the same opportunities.
Q. What will you miss after you leave WPD?
A. I always utilized the ability to perform Marine Patrol duties as a means to decompress from the cases and investigations that I worked and supervised in the Detective Division. My time on the water was my peace and tranquility.
Q. Who guided you or mentored you when you first began?
When I was in the patrol division and very pro-active, Mac (referring to retired Detective Lieutenant Donald McCarthy) took me under his wing and influenced my decision to take the path to be an investigator/detective. What was funny is when he became my boss; there were times when both he and I could not understand how we could work cohesively together. We did overcome those periodic issues and he pushed me and the others to perform our best and conduct the most thorough police investigation that could be done.
Q. Any advice to new officers just getting into Law Enforcement?
Realize what profession that they are getting into and understand the oath that they are taking. This job is a not a “TV Cop Show”. Cases don’t end in 42 minutes and the good guys don’t always prevail. I would also tell new officers, do not ever tarnish your badge, because if you do, you tarnish the badges of every good police officer. Most importantly, make sure you and your brother/sisters officers get to go home at the end of their shifts safe and healthy.
Thank you, Detective Sergeant Joseph DePasquale, for your years of service to Waterford and good luck in your new career!