A newly-retired Hamden police officer was killed in a crash in North Branford Tuesday, according to Hamden police.
Officer Michael Pantera died in the crash just two days after he retired from the Hamden Police Department.
He served 24 years on the force in Hamden, police officials said.
"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," Acting Chief of Police Timothy 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."
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The one-car crash happened just before 7:15 p.m. in the area of 2189 Foxon Road, according to North Branford police. Pantera was the only person in the car, police said.
Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett ordered all town flags to be lowered to half staff to honor Officer Pantera.
"I extend my deepest condolences to the Hamden Police Department and to the family and loved ones of Officer Pantera," Garrett said. "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."