Ridgefield police community gathers to memorialize lives of fallen officers

Members of the Ridgefield police department gathered Thursday to honor the lives of past officers who have died, an annual tradition they had to skip last year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“These are the men and women who served before us. We pay tribute to them and remember the good times,” Chief Jeffery Kreitz said, noting these officers spent a “significant portion of their lives serving and protecting our community,” and officers today are “an extension” of the values and lessons from them.

“They made us who we are,” he added.

After gathering at the Lounsbury House, a procession of officers visited the gravesites of about 20 officers — both human and K-9, as well as civilian dispatchers — in the Danbury area.

They recited prayers and saluted their counterparts while presenting a wreath in their memory and leaving American and Ridgefield police department flags at each site.

Kreitz, in addition to Police Commissioner John Frey and First Selectman Rudy Marconi gave speeches emphasizing the significance of these officers’ lives.

“We all support our police department and thank them for the efforts they put forth to protect us,” Marconi said.

“I wish we had the opportunity on Memorial Day to honor all of the veterans, all the people who gave their lives for this country,” he added.

The town usually hosts an annual Memorial Day Parade, but the event was canceled this year because of the pandemic.