Firefighter, Police Officers in NH & ME Ring Out Their Careers as 2021 Ends
For four individuals who are key parts of Seacoast police and fire departments the final day of 2021 meant their law enforcement careers come to a close.
The York Police Department said goodbye to 35 year veteran Sgt. Brian Curtin and John “The Cleaner” Patuleia who worked to keep the department's office clean for 18 years while Rye Police Officer Tim Garrity retired on Friday after 32 years. North Berwick Deputy Chief Larry Straffin ends a career that spans several departments over 50+ years.
York Police Sgt. Brian Curtain
After changing career paths from agriculture and farming while growing up on the South Shore of Massachusetts to join the York Police Department in 1987 Curtain will return to his interest in the land in his retirement.
Curtain and wife Samantha have created Karass Pastures, a regenerative farm producing holistically, compassionately raised healthy food that will increase healthy options when it comes locally produced food, according to a profile on the department's Facebook page.
The highlight of Curtain's career was being able to follow in the footsteps of his role model, Braintree, Mass. safety officer Bill McDonald by creating the school resource officers program for York public schools.
"This is one of my proudest accomplishments and I am so very happy to see that the program has expanded and continues today over 20 years later with many of the same founding principles of providing a compassionate, caring, empathetic police officer to help guide our community’s children to the path of adulthood," McDonald wrote in the profile.
Rye Police Officer Tim Garrity
Officer Garrity called it a career at the end of 2021 with the Rye Police Department.
"May you find retirement makes up for the sacrifices you made while protecting all of us," the department wrote on its Facebook page. "You will be missed by the citizens and members of the department. Thank you and congratulations for an amazing career."
North Berwick Deputy Fire Chief Larry Straffin
After over 50 years as a firefighter with North Berwick, Berwick, Rochester, Buxton, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and Winslow Straffin ends his career with the North Berwick Fire Department.
He will remain an associate member of the William Hill Firefighters Association.
"Larry has educated many firefighters over the years through Maine Fire Service Institute and the NH Fire Academy. Larry will continue to educate firefighters into his retirement," the department said in a post on its Facebook page.
John “The Cleaner” Patuleia
After 18 years it will be up to someone else to keep the headquarters of York Police Department clean.
"During those years John became part of our family and will be missed," the department wrote on its Facebook page. "We hope you enjoy your retirement it is well deserved."