The Chief of Police, James Heavey announced the retirement of Master Police Officer John Perna, a John A. Clarke Award winner, who has completed 28 years of service with the Greenwich Police Department.
Officer John Perna is a Greenwich native who was sworn in as a Greenwich Police Officer on March 7, 1988. He graduated from the 209th Class of the Connecticut Municipal Police Training Council’s Basic Police Academy.
Officer Perna assignments included Patrol Officer, Accident Car Investigator, and a Field Training Officer. As an Accident Car Investigator he was called upon to investigate serious motor vehicle accidents.
As a Field Training Officer, he oversaw the initial training of many of the new police recruits.
Officer Perna distinguished himself as a highly competent and able police officer and was promoted to Master Police Officer in 2009. Officer Perna’s received numerous commendations for excellent police work in the apprehension wanted criminals in which his actions exemplified the finest tradition of police service. These activities were exhibited in diverse instances over the years.
In 1997 Officer Perna was awarded the prestigious Dr. John A. Clarke Award for his actions.
One evening he and another officer were carpooling on their way to work when they witnessed a serious motor vehicle accident. One of the vehicles slammed into the Jersey barrier and burst into flames. Disregarding their personal safety, the officers raced to the vehicle and pulled the victim from the car before it was fully engulfed in flames.
An area of exceptional distinction is the abundant number of letters of gratitude from citizens of Greenwich. The letters ranged from his actions at medical saves, his participation in local charity events, and his empathetic consoling of grieving family members at the loss of loved ones.
Officer Perna received a letter from a motorist who he had stopped which thanked Officer Perna for his professionalism on that stop. Each of the letters described his good work, but the unifying theme of all the letters was Officer Perna’s genuine concern and compassion for the citizens of Greenwich.
“Officer Perna has lived up to the department’s vision to improve the quality of life within Greenwich while at the same time maintaining respect for individual rights and human dignity. I am very proud to have served with John and wish him the best in the next stage of his life.” – James Heavey Chief of Police