Timothy Shaw: A Life of Policing and Community Service

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By Jason Marchi/Zip06.com • 07/06/2022 08:30 AM EST

East Haven native Timothy “Tim” Shaw graduated from East Haven High School in 1984 to begin his undergraduate studies at UCONN. However, he left college in his senior year to eagerly take up a position as a police officer with the Stamford Police Department in Stamford, Connecticut.

Tim was 21 at the time and his brother-in-law, who was a police officer at Stamford, suggested he fill out an application.

“It wasn’t a lifelong dream at the time,” Tim says of joining the force, but “it became the right choice for me,” he soon learned. . “At Stamford, I had a lot of opportunities to do different things and move around within the police department.”

Although switching to the police before graduating from college seemed like the right thing to do at the time, Tim realized later that it might be better to have a college degree. college studies. “I had to go back to catch up on the diploma over time,” he admits.

Tim had worked in the Stamford Police Department’s Uniform Patrol Division for just two years when he became an investigator for the Statewide Narcotics Task Force.

“I worked as an undercover agent in Fairfield County infiltrating organizations in coordination with local, state, and federal partners,” says Tim.

He then served as a sergeant and lieutenant with the Narcotics Division, worked in the role of patrol lieutenant responsible for Eastside District patrol duties in Stamford, and in 2008, when Tim was a lieutenant, he took on more managerial duties by supervising investigators. within the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

“In this position, I was responsible for investigating all homicides and other serious crimes that occur in Stamford,” Tim explains.

He then served as Lieutenant Commander of the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit, where he worked with federal organizations including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms , and Explosives, and the US Marshall’s. Desk.

“In drug work, you feel bad for the people who use it but sue the people who sell it,” says Tim. “It was interesting work, especially when you’re 23 or 24 and working undercover. Most of my work was in Bridgeport, so those were busy times.

Eventually, Tim also graduated from the FBI National Academy and Senior Management in Police Executive Training, prior to his appointment as Stamford Deputy Chief of Police by Chief Jon Fontneau.

“As deputy chief, I oversaw the investigative divisions, administrative divisions, and all civilian staff,” notes Tim.

After this illustrious career – rising rapidly from uniformed officer to deputy chief – Tim left the large city of Stamford police department, which has nearly 300 officers, to become the small town of Stamford’s chief constable. Easton, Conn., in 2015.

“I never had a honeymoon period,” Tim notes of moving to a quiet little town of about 7,500 people. “I had only been a chef for two weeks when the tragic double murder of Jeffrey and Jeanette Navin happened,” Tim recalled.

Thanks to Tim’s previous training and experience in homicide investigation, the victim’s son, Kyle Navin (27 at the time), and his accomplice, girlfriend Jennifer Valiante (31 at the time), were arrested for the murders following a three-month investigation. Navin was later found guilty and sentenced to two concurrent 55-year prison terms for his plea of ​​guilt, without the possibility of parole or early release.

Although his first three months as Easton’s new police chief were difficult – due to the double murder case – his job at Easton suited his family life as the family nest became increasingly empty. more. At the time, his daughter was a freshman in college and his son was a sophomore in high school, “so it was nice to be closer to home and work in Easton,” Tim recalled.

After five years as Easton Police Chief, Tim returned to Stamford to take on the role of Chief Constable in April 2020. He was back home where it all started years before.

In keeping with Tim’s humanitarian nature, as a manager in the policing field, he has taken the lead in addressing challenges ranging from policing liability (arising from the George Floyd tragedy) to health effects mental illness of the COVID-19 pandemic on emergency service personnel. as well as people in the community.

Throughout his career, Tim has worked tirelessly and diligently – with an abundance of positive energy contagious to all who work with and know him – to promote police excellence, and he has been recognized on several occasions. for his leadership work in law enforcement.

Tim was noted as one of the top 100 leaders by the state’s Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and in 2019 he received a Connecticut State Police Award for leading the police response to the investigation into the double murder of the Navin family.

Tim also received the Distinguished Chief of Police Commissioners of Connecticut Award in 2018, was nominated in 2019 to serve on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Association of Chiefs of Police, and most recently, in 2020, the Stamford Boys and Girls Club has recognized Tim as a Youth Champions.

Despite his many accomplishments in law enforcement, Tim is humbled by the accolades he has received, as well as his promotions through the ranks of command.

Currently, Tim is transforming his work with local youth into a larger program. “I’ve had Wednesday practice sessions with Chief events,” Tim says, “where I go to a park and practice with the kids.” But now that connection to young people extends to the establishment of a Police Activities League (PAL) center for young people in Stamford.

“We have secured a lease with a building owner, and they are going to allow us to open our own community center for policing activities,” says Tim, which, like other municipal PAL programs, will offer educational and sports programs. for kids all over town. , as well as sponsoring summer events and after-school youth programs. Tim expects the Stamford PAL Center to open within the next few months.

As for Tim entering the East Haven High School Hall of Fame later in the year – in another well-served recognition of his professional achievements as a public servant – he readily acknowledges the good people of East Haven for him. having provided the foundation he needed for a successful life and career, following a tragedy in his own life.

” I lost my father [suddenly] my last year [of high school] a heart attack, so my mother was a single mother raising eight children; I was number seven out of eight,” Tim recalls. “And in the ‘It Takes a Village Approach,’ the way the hard workers of East Haven supported me and my family, guided me in how I ended up where I am today’ today.”

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