Though he was the one recognized as Fairfield's 2012 Employee of the Year, Police Chief Gary MacNamara believes the award should go to all of the town's employees.
"We can't do what we do without all the men and women who work [for the town]," MacNamara said after the Board of Selectmen bestowed the title upon him.
He noted the work of the Fairfield Police Department, especially in the wake of Friday's tragedy in Newtown -- and before that, Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene.
"These are the men and women who are working day to day, preparing for the things that make the news," MacNamara said.
But, as Selectman Kevin Kiley pointed out, the work of the department "is a reflection of you. Your strength, your courage, your commitment to making Fairfield the safest place possible."
First Selectman Michael Tetreau recounted his time working with MacNamara during the two hurricanes that ravaged the town and said he was impressed by the MacNamara's thought process.
"He not only solves problems, but finds ways to prevent them," Tetreau said. "We all need examples, and he's the one I learned from."
The chief was nominated for the ninth annual Employee of the Year recognition by Deb Greenwood, president and CEO of the Center for Women and Families. Employees of the Year are evaluated by criteria such as performance excellence, reliability, initiative, integrity, judgment, and outstanding public service.
Of the many reasons she chose to nominate MacNamara, Greenwood highlighted his ability to lead.
"Under the leadership of Chief Gary MacNamara, the Fairfield Police Department has proven to be an invaluable partner in efforts to prevent domestic and sexual violence in our community," Greenwood stated in her nomination letter.
Greenwood presented MacNamara with a T-shirt with the words "strength," "bravery," and "confident." The shirt is for a future domestic violence awareness walkathon that MacNamara helped organize with the Center for Women and Families.
The T-shirt, Greenwood said, "is fitting for a man like Gary MacNamara."