A former Bristol police officer is fighting to get his job back after being forced to retire.
Jerry Pare worked as a Bristol police officer for nearly 25 years before the city forced him to retire in October. The reason: he turned 65 years old in a city with an ordinance that sets that as its mandatory retirement age.
Pare filed a grievance with the help of his union last year. He's hoping to win his fight through arbitration. A hearing officer held a conference on the issue on Thursday and now has 60 days to decide whether to proceed with his case.
"I'm still very capable to work and I have a passion for my work," said Pare. "I'm baffled by the fact that they retired me at the age of 65 when I know that there are other departments in the state of Connecticut that have people working until they are 70 years old. I'm very capable of doing that."
The city has never challenged Pare's ability to do his job. Instead, they insist that ordinance and its 65 year retirement age does not allow for any exceptions.
Pare says he loves helping others and is not ready to hang up his badge.
"I just want to go back to work. I really do," said Pare.
If he doesn't win his case in arbitration, Pare plans to take the issue to court.