Two police officers with over four decades of experience have announced their retirement from the New Haven Police Department.
Captain Anthony Duff ’88, the former head spokesperson of the NHPD and an officer at the department for 25 years, announced his retirement on Thursday. Assistant Chief Herb Sharp left his role with the force on Wednesday.
During this week’s Compstat intelligence sharing meeting, Duff said that he plans to retire in the coming weeks. Duff encouraged his fellow officers to apply for his current role and work with the media.
“We appreciate all that you’ve done for us, because you’ve helped a community where everyone does not have access to the internet,” New Haven resident Thomasine Shaw said at the meeting. “You’re sending that information to Hill South, and then they’re able to spread the information among the members of the management team.”
Duff was raised in Forrest City, Arkansas. He came to New Haven in 1984 to study at Yale College. Upon graduation, he remained in the city and managed two stores on Broadway, eventually joining the NHPD in 1996.
Eventually, Duff became the district manager of the Dixwell neighborhood, a position through which officers are in charge of community engagement in specific neighborhoods, and a field training officer. He later obtained a higher post, supervising the internal affairs division and departmental records. In January 2019, Duff began his role as the department’s public information officer.
In August 2019, Duff was off duty near Dixwell Avenue and Henry Street when he saw Troy Clark, a 46-year-old man from West Haven, shot just feet away from him. In his attempt to intervene, Duff was shot. He subsequently called for backup and was later hospitalized. Duff returned to work in January of last year.
After the shooting, then-New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said that New Haven should “feel gratitude for the selfless valor of Captain Duff, and the responsibility every police officer takes on at the start of each shift.”
Evelise Riberio, the chairman of the police commission, has worked with Duff for more than 15 years.
At the meeting, she commended Duff for his character.
“[Duff] is a man of honor, dignity. He’s always been fair; he’s a man of God. He is a family man. He is a man who is in the community, and he will be truly, truly missed,” Riberio said.
Duff is not the only NHPD higher-up to enter retirement this year. Sharp left after over two decades with the NHPD. He first retired in 2016 when he was district manager of Newhallville. He then became director of security for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.
But in 2019, Sharp returned to the NHPD after being appointed by then-chief Otoniel Reyes to serve as assistant chief.
“During his work as a district manager, [Sharp] distinguished himself for his passion and commitment to improving the quality of life for the residents of Newhallville,” Reyes said at the promotion ceremony. “Through my supervisory journey, he has been a source of strength, inspiration.”
Duff’s last day at the NHPD is April 14.
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