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Three Experienced Madison Police Officers Retire, Others Considering Retirement [Updated]

Police Captain Jon Pardo announced his retirement, citing upcoming changes in pension and medical benefits as cause. Lt. Allen Gerard and Officer John McDevitt also announced their retirement recently. Other officers may retire soon.

 

Madison Police Captain Jon Pardo announced his retirement Thursday, effective April 26.

Pardo said following the Madison Police Commission meeting Thursday, where he announced his retirement, that is leaving to protect his benefits, which are tied to the union contract. Police officers currently covered under a contract negotiated in 2005 will lose certain medical and pension benefits in retirement if they don't leave by June 30th.

"If you don't go by then, you don't get it," Pardo said of the generous medical benefits. Pardo said he wanted to be very clear that is why he is leaving.

Other retirements possible

Lt. Allen Gerard and Officer John McDevitt recently decided to retire for similar reasons, said Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm. He said there are several other experienced officers who are also covered by the 2005 contract. He said he has not yet heard anything official from them.

Drumm said Pardo has been a loyal, devoted servant to the town of Madison who will truly be missed.

"I admire his wisdom and perspective," Drumm said. "We'll miss that and we wish him well in retirement."

Long-time service will be missed

He said the long-time service Gerard and McDevitt provided to the town will be missed as well.

"Two seasoned officers arrived at a decision to move on to other ventures," he said. "I admire their courage to make that decision, it's not an easy one."

Gerard said he has heard that other officers are evaluating whether it is in their best financial interests to retire. He said the decision was a difficult one, particularly now that the department is running smoothly under a new chief.

"No one knows for sure what will happen"

"They all have until June 30 to decide, which is when the current contract and pension expires and a new one is re-negotiated in. No one really knows for sure what will happen so any decisions are just a gamble based on an educated guess. They may just all stay and work happily ever after," he said. 

Gerard said he considered retiring in 1999 at 20 years.

"But, every time I was contemplating retirement, some major dilemma or scandal happened and someone would inevitably request that I stay on for a while longer. I did, because I wanted to support MPD and didn't want to abandon a sinking ship," he said. "Now things have stabilized and I just thought it was time and would be nice going out appreciated, on top, with respect."

Spending time with family

Like Pardo, Gerard said he has no immediate plans.

"I have no immediate plans other than just spending as much time as possible with my family for the time being," he asid. "I have some catching up to do regarding personal goals and objectives. I'll likely explore and entertain other various career opportunities in the fall."

Pardo said the same thing, that he is looking forward to spending time with his family.

"I don't want people in town to think I'm abandoing them"

"I don't want people in town to think I'm abandoning them," said Pardo, who is something of a hometown favorite. He lives in Madison with his wife, who teaches at Island Avenue School, and two children. He attended Daniel Hand High School and has numerous other relatives in Madison and surrounding towns.

“Grandparents, aunts and uncles, you name it,” he said . “The best part of my job is being from the community and being part of the community. I grew up here. My family is here. My kids go to school here. Being part of the community is important to me.”

Pardo said Thursday that has not changed. He said the current police commission "has been nothing but good to me. They took a chance on me and I hope it's not something they regret."

"My family and I sat down and made a financial decison"

But, in the end, he said "my family and I sat down and made a financial decision. In 2005, the contract that was negotiated, we got a great deal. We got a great pension."

Pardo said nothing about his departure should be perceived as adversarial. "This is purely, exactly what it looks like," he said.

Pardo said he has no specific plans for what to do next, but that he is evaluating different options.

"The town of Madison has been very good to me"

"As you know, my wife is a teacher in town. So, worst case scenario? I'll take the summer off and enjoy it with my wife and kids. And that actually sounds like a good option at this point," he said.

But he said he will miss working for Madison.

"The town of Madison has been very good to me," he said.

Editor's Note: This story was updated Friday, April 13, 2012 to include comments from Madison Police Chief Jack Drumm and Lt. Allen Gerard.

Christopher Jennings Penders April 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM
I've known both Jon Pardo and John McDevitt for most of the time I've spent in Madison. Graduated high school w/Jon Pardo and went to Southern CT State University w/him as well. Jon's ALWAYS been a good guy and he tremendous addition to the Madison Police Department. We should count our blessings that we were able to recruit a hometown product. I've known John McDevitt since the late 1980's early 1990's. They'll both be missed.
Christine Lena April 13, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Thank you all for your years of service to our town! A wise choice due to the contract benefits. Much happiness and success to you, and your families, in your next phase of life!
Susan McDevitt April 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM
GOOD LUCK GUYS! Enjoy amd be well!!!!!
Mom of 2 teens April 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Good luck. I cannot blame you for your reasons at all but you will be sorely missed.
Susan McDevitt April 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Hummmm... For some reason my last two truthful comments are not here. What happened to freedom of speech?
Reg Patchell April 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM
WOW, never mind the caption of leaving or retiring how about a story about the great officers of which all three are and have been. I use to live in Madison back in the 70s & 80 and was a police / fire dispatcher as well as a volunteer fire fighter and ambulance tech and I got to know so many of the GREAT guys of the Madison Police Department. I have seen them in some of the best times and some of the worst times and through it all the ones that I had a pleasure to know have always been so loyal & true to that department, to that town and its citizens. I have known Lt. Al Gerard for almost 35 years and have seen him go from rookie to the fine supervisor that he is. I saw him work under cover for the state narcotics, risk his life during high risk incidents in Madison and still remember back when there were only two cars on the road at one time, sending Al Gerard to a domestic, have him arrive prior to the back up an then the phone line being knocked to the floor as a person on the other end just yelled to send back up, send back up and all I could do was pray that Milt Shields would guide his cruiser to the home that Al was in without becoming involved in any kind of a accident while trying to back up his partner. see part 2 next
Reg Patchell April 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM
So many great officers have worked at that department and unfortunately some person decided that it was better for the citizens of Madison to lose all of that training and common sense just to save a few dollars. I HOPE that will not come back to cause any kind of harm to anyone BUT most of all I HOPE that the Madison officers will be able to work without all of the knowledge of the town, the people, the department that is now being made to retire so that someone can claim " Look at the money that we saved." The money that you saved is officers who just a few minutes ago probably just performed some life saving incident that no one will even know about. God bless all of the fine officers of the Madison Police Department, I miss the great times that seemed like yesterday but were so long ago, I wish all of the great officers a GREAT, LONG retirement and please by all means know that so many of us know how hard you have worked and SOME of the hard things that you have had to work through and most of all, THANK YOU for all that you have done for the town, the people and most of all your department & brothers & sisters in that department. GREAT JOB guys, now rest up and enjoy your much deserved RETIREMENT!!!!!
Pem McNerney (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 01:54 PM
There was a delay in the comments appearing. I think (I hope) that's been fixed now.
Pem McNerney (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Just spoke with the chief and heard back from Al Gerard. Those comments have been included in the story, and the headline changed.
Ex Republican April 13, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Anita, I am sure many in town would not cry if you left but I don't see them making crude posts. As for the Town, Penny Wise and Pound Foolish fits well here. Why didn't you negotiate a teired contract and avoid this problem.
Larry Favre April 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM
I am sure these officers, and Mr. Pardo in particular, have served Madison admirably. However the economic reality not just in Madison but even much more severely and to the current point of crisis elsewhere is that the prior levels of public service benefits are just not sustainable. Unless everyone, not just $1MM+ earners, are willing to pay significantly higher taxes across the board. This is not political just cold hard economics. In the private sector the vast majority have been living with reduced and/or more expensive benefit choices year over year for many years running now. For example, pensions are almost extinct now. In any case, sound economic decisions need to be made on both sides and sound decisions respected. These are incredibly difficult decisions to be made on all fronts. This article so clearly highlights one of the greatest challenges of our time, locally and globally. All the best in your future endeavors Mr. Pardo!
Jane Smith April 14, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Don't be surprised when you have a constantly changing department of new officers who are using this pd as a stepping stone to a better one with better benefits and retirement plans. Why? Because other police departments in CT ARE offering health insurance after retirment and better pension plans etc. for their law enforcement.
Janet April 14, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Unless anyone knows the details of the current "generous" benefits package versus the potential "new" package, don't pass judgement that the town is doing something foolish. My guess is that even the new package will offer much more than the vast majority of Americans receive.
A Gerard April 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM
I reserve opinion regarding good, bad, right, wrong, fault, blame etc. There aren't any absolute right or wrong answers here. This is just intended to provide a few realistic facts regardless of how we ended up where we are at now. One of the factors for consideration regarding retirement options is medical & dental coverage for dependant children. Years ago after WW2, employees primarily had children early in life and therefore when they retired, their children were all grown and out on their own. Medical & dental coverage wasn't an issue. In current times, the trend has been that those children who are now the baby boomers, are eligible and considering retirement themselves. Most employees with families now, started them later in life and are responsible for the care of their younger dependant children. No current medical or dental coverage is provided in the pension plan for dependant children of retirees, nor is any expected in the future. The town does offer the normal COBRA medical & dental coverage at a cost to the retiree of about $7,593.96 per year, per child but only for a period up to 3 years, $15,187.92 per year for two children, $22,781.88 per year for three children, $30,375.84 per year for four children and so on. Due to various family structures and incomes, some employees may have acceptable options to address this while others don't. If they happen to have a child or children with medical disabilities, that only compounds the problem.
A Gerard April 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Many employees would also need to find gainful employment after retirement to meet their individual financial responsibilities. Finding adequate employment in a poor economy in the general area of their previous career isn't an easy task. The job market is already flooded with those from state agencies and others places who previously retired to avoid any potential reduction in their own retirement/pension plans. These are just a few of the hard facts that an employee has to sift through. It's not a pretty picture for anyone. I do wish everyone and their respective families the best and hope that the citizens of Madison will support them regardless of what decissions they make concerning retirement.
Chris Rotermund April 14, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I've known Jon Pardo for a long time, even graduated high school with him. Madison is very lucky to have had him serve us so well for all of these years. I'm sure this was not an easy decision for Jon but given the state of our economy, I certainly understand it. Enjoy your retirement Jon, you certainly deserve it!
Anita Bath April 14, 2012 at 09:27 PM
It is sad to see Pardo and McDevitt leave. They were both excellent officers. Madison should be proud to have had them working for them
Patricia Jones July 02, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Heard a bunch more retired too. Lt. Dobbins, Lt. O'Connor, Sergeant Fox and Patrol Officer Laprise. Add McDevitt, Gerard and Pardo and that makes seven in one year? Who's left with long term local town and people background information, history and knowledge?
Marchia King July 10, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Just one knowledgable officer remaining, Lt. Stimpson. That's it.
Anita Bath July 10, 2012 at 08:29 PM
If everyone left so they could keep their health insurance and benefits, then why did Stimpson stay??? Is he getting a different deal?
Tony Salvatore July 17, 2012 at 03:06 PM
No one knows what the deal is or isn't until it is settled and agreed upon, dopey Anita. If you have a question for LT. Stimpson ask him, otherwise go back under whatever rock you crawled out from under.
Anita Bath July 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM
You must be bob or one of his buddies
Pem McNerney (Editor) July 18, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Anita, Tony, easy ... I have a story going live around noon with more information about changes at the police department. As for officers who decided to stay, decisions like this about whether to take retirement, or make certain family or financial decisions generally are personal. I have not heard that anyone was offered any special deal.
Reg Patchell July 18, 2012 at 03:57 PM
I have not heard anything as far as a retirement party for those who recently have retired, can someone please let me know if one is being planned and if one is not being planned then the story should be about WHY NOT ! Why not offer a retirement party for the three who recently retired after putting lives on the line so many times for the Town of Madison???? is this the responsibilty of the fellow officers- if so I would HOPE that the Brotherhood of Police Officers has not been lost as it seems so many other things have gone to the way side such as common sense, being polite to others, etc etc etc.
Dave Powers July 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Reply to Mr. Patchell: Many Police Unions, Police Commissions, Towns and City's have one big retirement banquet dinner at the beginning of each fiscal year (July) honoring all those who have retired by the end of the previous fiscal year ending in June. A combined retirement dinner to show respect for as many years of service as those who have just retired from Madison would have to be held at someplace like the Aqua Turf Club. Please post the date, time and cost online when you get the information. Thanks.
Reg Patchell July 19, 2012 at 01:24 AM
not sure if Mr. Pwers is asking me to plan a party or telling me that the town will,either way, it does not seem like it is going to happen unless someone from Madison steps up to the plate, which I HOPE for the respect of the three who have given so much to the town, will happen soon.
Kate Mills July 24, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Reg is just pointing out the obvious. A public banquet for the group wouldn't even cost the tax payers a penny, nor the police union, nor the police department, nor the police commission. The public ticket sales would cover all the associated costs. Pretty quick and easy for one of the above (if they wanted to) to just reserve a banquet hall, have some tickets printed up and then put out some flyer email attachments, faxes and social media notification of the event to all surrounding police agencies, courts and such. A good excuse for the public and police to mingle on a respectful positive note.
Reg Patchell July 24, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Thank you Kate for the message, unfortunatly I do not live anywhere near Madison anymore BUT there is no reason why someone from that area could not step up for these guys and as you mentioned, the cost of the tickets would cover the expenses as well as a gift for each which is the least that the town owes these three and every police / fire fighter who has given so much!
Mary-Ellen Jackson July 24, 2012 at 02:12 PM
To Mr. Reg P. I do not believe anyone wants or expects for you to do the union and town's job. Current Madison police union members just set it up and it runs and pays for itself. The public retirement dinner should be similar to the way the Connecticut State Police often have them for very long term officers of 20 years, 25 years and in these Madison retirements 30+ years. Over 100 years of service from the last 4 retirees is commendable. One event open to the public for all at once would cover it. Hard to think those in power could be that ignorant or selfish not to do this as it isn't exactly rocket science. Actions will speak louder than words.
Malinda Moore July 28, 2012 at 03:14 AM
Only 100 plus years of combined service from the last 4 town police retirees? Don't know but maybe he thus hole for a public dinner requires 150-200 years before employees are recognized.

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