Furlong named Glastonbury's top cop

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
GLASTONBURY - posted Fri., Feb. 4, 2011
Sgt. Michael Furlong of the Glastonbury Police Department receives the Police Officer of the Year award from Exchange Club President Sara Ross on Feb. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.
Sgt. Michael Furlong of the Glastonbury Police Department receives the Police Officer of the Year award from Exchange Club President Sara Ross on Feb. 3. Photos by Steve Smith.

GLASTONBURY - Sgt. Michael Furlong made headlines last summer when the Glastonbury Police Department uncovered a large marijuana-growing operation on a farm in South Glastonbury.

Connecticut Deputy Attorney General Nora R. Dannehy said that headline is one of the many that hard-working law enforcement officers rarely receive, with a lot of media attention instead being paid to officers when they cross the line.

Dannehy was the guest speaker as Furlong received the Police Officer of the Year award at a banquet held by the Glastonbury Exchange Club on Feb. 3.

“It's just not all that glamorous,” Dannehy said of investigative work. “Based on Sgt. Furlong's work, what is good police work is just a dogged-ness following up on all of the clues and not giving up. It's that kind of work that makes good cases and lets prosecutors do their work.”

Furlong, a 30-year veteran of the GPD, is currently a Detective Unit Sergeant, and has worked with the Regional Narcotics Task Force.

Colleagues spoke of Furlong's work ethic and relentless pursuit of investigations.

Furlong had learned of the marijuana-growing operation, but had difficulty gathering enough evidence to proceed. However, he persisted until he accumulated enough information to obtain the search warrant that resulted in the operation's demise.

Furlong was also assigned a case of a heist at a high-end jewelry store in early 2010, in which he was able to combine technology with his police instincts to find the identity of the masked robbers, even though eyewitnesses to the crime were unable to identify them.

Town Manager Richard Johnson recalled having worked with Furlong for the past 3 decades.

“The best way to describe him is as a consummate professional,” Johnson said.

“Through his work with the patrol, state and regional task forces, and the investigation division, he has quietly, and in a very unassuming way, established himself as a highly-effective and highly successful law enforcement professional.”

Johnson joked that when people had heard that Furlong's case involving the largest marijuana-growing operation investigation, they thought the largest single plant had been seized. “They asked, 'how tall was it?' That was the feedback that I got,” Johnson said.

Johnson presented Furlong with a Town Council resolution honoring Furlong.

State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan also read a proclamation from the state assembly,

“Thirty years of service is a reason to celebrate, in itself,” Srinivasan said. “Add to that the kind of service that Michael has given us, in this community, we have every reason to celebrate and be proud of him.”

Officer Bruce Nickerson, vice-president of the Glastonbury Police Officer Association, said Furlong, who happens to be his immediate superior, said all of the good things that have been said or written about Furlong are very true.

“He is the person that you want investigating any crime in which you, or a loved one of yours, is the victim,” Nickerson said. “He is the most competent, sincere, and hard working officer I have ever met.”

Furlong thanked the Exchange Club, the GPD, his wife, SueAnn, and his family.

“...for putting up with me for 30 years of doing this job,” he said. “I know it wasn't easy at times. I'm very humbled by the recognition I'm getting.”

Furlong added that the credit for the mentioned investigations was not all his.

“It was not a single effort on my part,” he said. “It's a multitude of people in the department [and] other agencies that help.”

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