NORWICH – When Jeremy Stopford was first hired to be the City of Norwich’s special officer for dog control and parking more than 27 years ago, his starting pay was $4.43 an hour.
Since then, he’s worked under four different police chiefs and has witnessed new generations of police officers and city leaders join the community.
“I’ve enjoyed being a part of the city and being a part of all these people’s lives so very much; it’s a very close community. My colleagues, the downtown merchants and others are connections I think I will always have,” said Stopford.
This Saturday, from 1 to 5 p.m., that same close community will come together to honor Stopford at the Norwich Fire Station.
Norwich Police Sgt. Gard Turner said the public is welcome to attend the retirement luncheon, which will feature a buffet and a presentation beginning at 3 p.m.
“Jeremy and I go way back,” said Turner, who is a 14 year veteran of the department. “He’s always offered a helping hand, has a great attitude and I have nothing but respect and appreciation for him. I consider him a friend.”
Turner, who recently returned to duty after having heart surgery, said Stopford often checked in on him during his recovery. “That’s just the kind of person he is,” he said.