It was an emotional meeting of the Police Commission on Friday, Sept. 22. Middlebury Police Chief Richard Guisti's wife Robin sat next to him and both became tearful at times, as Chairman Donald Ford read Guisti's letter aloud.
"As police chief, I always set short and long-term goals not only for my organization, but for myself," Guisti said in his September 10 letter. "My primary professional goal was to serve the town of Middlebury. My personal goal was to retire young enough so that I can enjoy some sun."
He wrote that at this time in his career, it's in the best interest of his family, friends and the organization to retire from the Middlebury Police Department. His last day of employment will be November 9, and his last work day is October 12, he stated in the letter.
Ford said the letter was difficult to receive.
"I've enjoyed working with the chief for my entire tenure on the commission," he said.
Guisti expressed gratitude and regret in the letter: Gratitude for becoming police chief and regret over not completing all the tasks he wanted to complete.
"Unfortunately, there are a few organizational goals that I have not achieved, for one reason or another," he said in the letter. "However, I believe that the Middlebury Police Department has made great strides into the 21st century with guidance and support from the Police Commission."
Guisti thanked the Police Commission, the Board of Selectmen, his staff and the community who supported him in his 23-plus years of service to the town.
"There are not enough words to express the feelings I have for the Middlebury community, both adults and children, he said.
Guisti praised his colleagues.
"The Middlebury officers are professionals who deliver services that exceed most expectations," he said. "They are educated, proactive and community-oriented. I recommend that my replacement be someone who allows the officers to grow, succeed and be an advocate of community policing."