Towns mourn loss of police officer
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Mar. 14, 2013
The East Hartford Police Department is mourning the loss of an officer who committed suicide at the police department's public safety complex at 31 School St. On Tuesday, March 12, Officer Paul Buchanan, 51, was discovered at 9 a.m. with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. Paramedics from the East Hartford Fire Department treated him on the scene, and he was brought to Hartford Hospital, where he died of his injuries, according to a press release from EHPD.
Both the East Hartford Police Department and the Connecticut State Police are investigating the shooting.
The 24-year veteran of EHPD was on the force since 1989, and was highly decorated. During his career, he worked in the Patrol Division as a field training officer, a community outreach officer and a fleet and scheduling officer. His was also an investigator in the Criminal Investigations Division.
He had two life-saving awards and several letters of commendation. According to Sgt. Michael DeMaine, public information officer at EHPD, Buchanan received a meritorious service award for solving a larceny case while off duty.
In 2007, Buchanan was honored as Officer of the Year. “That could be anyone in the police department, from a lieutenant down, and he got it,” said DeMaine. “He was highly decorated and highly respected,” DeMaine added. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Paul Buchanan's family and friends during this time.”
That evening, the East Hartford Town Council called for a moment of silence to honor Buchanan. “He had been the recipient of several awards and citations commending his work in the department,” said Town Council Chair Richard Kehoe. “He will be missed.”
Buchanan was a resident of South Windsor. Sgt. Scott Custer, public information officer for the South Windsor Police Department, described the death as an unfortunate tragedy. “We join our brothers and sisters in mourning the passing of an officer,” said Custer. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”