A recently retired Hamden police officer was killed in a motor vehicle accident Tuesday, according to police.

Officer Michael Pantera was killed in a North Branford crash just two days after his retirement on July 31, police said.

He was a member of the Hamden Police Department for 24 years. The department said he cared deeply about the community and served the town with “honor and distinction.”

“He was always ready to lend a hand or volunteer to help an Officer or community member,” Acting Chief Timothy Wydra said in a statement. “We mourn his loss and remember him as a genuine, loyal, hardworking, and kind-hearted person who touched everyone he met.”

Wydra said Pantera was “very proud to serve in the town where he was raised” and he still had family living in Hamden.

The department and Wydra offered their condolences to the family.

“As a member of the Community Police Division and Bicycle Patrol Unit, Officer Pantera represented the best of our police department with many close and friendly interactions with our residents,” Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett said.

Garrett ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff in town.

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