Hamden officer killed in crash had retired two days beforehand

Officer Michael Pantera.
Officer Michael Pantera.(Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett)
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 2:10 PM EDT
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HAMDEN, CT (WFSB) - An officer from the Hamden Police Department was killed in a crash just two days after his retirement.

Officer Michael Pantera died in the crash in North Branford on Aug. 2, according to police. He retired on July 31.

Details about the crash in North Branford have yet to be released.

Police described Pantera as a 24-year veteran of the department.

“Mike was a compassionate police officer that cared deeply about the Hamden community,” police posted to social media. “He served the Town of Hamden and his hometown with honor and distinction throughout his career.”

Acting Chief of Police Timothy Wydra offered his condolences to Pantera’s family and the community.

“Mike Pantera was a compassionate and caring police officer who was very proud to serve in the town where he was raised and still had family living here,” Wydra said. “He was always ready to lend a hand or volunteer to help an officer or community member. We mourn his loss and remember him as a genuine, loyal, hardworking, and kind-hearted person who touched everyone he met. We were all shocked and saddened to hear about his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

“I extend my deepest condolences to the Hamden Police Department and to the family and loved ones of Officer Pantera,” said Mayor Lauren Garrett. “As a member of the Community Police Division and Bicycle Patrol Unit, Officer Pantera represented the best of our police department with many close and friendly interactions with our residents. I have ordered all Town flags be lowered to half-mast to honor Officer Michael Pantera.”