The Ridgefield police sergeant credited with starting the annual safety day event has passed away, police confirmed Thursday afternoon.

Former police Sgt. Edward Delisle died Tuesday, Oct. 24, police said.

A 26-year veteran of the Ridgefield Police Department, Delisle was recognized as the department’s Officer of the Year in 1979, and received the department’s Exceptional Service Award in 1984. He was given a commendation in 1987.

Delisle joined the department in 1969, where he served until 1995. He worked as a department training officer and was a member of the department’s police Olympic team. He then served in New Milford until his retirement in 2014.

In a Facebook post acknowledging Delisle’s passing, the department thanked him for his years of service, and called him a “a true practitioner of community policing.”