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Longtime Police Chief In Fairfield County Dies Days After Retiring

Chief John Roche
Chief John Roche Photo Credit: Ridgefield Police Department

This story has been updated.

Less than a week into his retirement , former Ridgefield Police Chief John Roche has died.

Roche, who started his career as a patrol officer in Ridgefield in 1980, announced his retirement from the force, effective as of Friday, Aug. 24. He began his career in Ridgefield as a patrol officer after graduating from the Morris County Police Academy in 1979. He also served as an officer in Rockaway, New Jersey.

On Thursday afternoon, the Ridgefield Police Department announced that he has died.

“It is with heavy hearts that the men and women of the Ridgefield Police Department announce the death of Chief John Roche,” the department posted on Facebook, announcing his passing. “The Chief dedicated his life to law enforcement. We marched behind him proudly.”

A cause of death has not yet been released. Roche, who was 62, had been on medical leave for two months prior to his retirement.

Roche’s career started off with a bang, as he acted as the spokesperson for his graduating class and he received a Certificate of Merit for what he accomplished during his time at the academy. During his lone year in Rockaway, he also received two commendations for his services.

Second in his class at the Connecticut Police Academy, Roche was appointed to the Detective Division in 1983. He was promoted to sergeant in 1986 and lieutenant in 1990. He subsequently achieved the rank of captain in 1991 and major in 1999. In 2008 he was named the department’s fifth chief of police. He was Ridgefield’s officer of the year in 1983 and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

“The members and staff of the Ridgefield Police Department and the Ridgefield Police Commission offer our condolences and prayers to the Chief’s family,” officials said.

“Chief- You were a great leader, a great cop and a great man. We will miss your smile, your laughter and your stories. Your door was always open and you truly cared about each and every one of us. You wore the uniform with pride and only did great things. You were proud of us, as we were of you. You will be greatly missed. Chief, may you Rest In Peace.”

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