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Public Safety Delivers First Annual Meritorious Service Award

Officer Gary Heyward receives committee's unanimous nomination

NVCC Public Safety Officer Gary Heyward has never been late to work.

To put that into context, Public Safety Officer Gary Heyward has worked at NVCC for 38 years. 

As Public Safety Director Lt. Toni Rinaldi pointed out at the department’s first annual Meritorious Service Award ceremony, that’s more years than a good handful of students and employees have been alive. And that’s something Officer Heyward takes great pride in.

Determined to keep his remarks brief, Officer Heyward talked about his first book of parking tickets, a memento he still has in his office, and expressed his gratitude for the recognition. His fellow officers, however, were not so soft-spoken.

“Officer Heyward represents the essence of what a campus public safety officer should be and models the spirit of our NVCC mission,” described Sgt. Jeff D’Alusio in his nomination letter. “His work has been unparalleled and inspiring.”

Lt. Rinaldi invoked the muse of the College’s 3-year 50th anniversary celebration in her recognition, calling attention to some of the lesser known quirks of Officer Heyward’s tenure.

“I could give a speech about what a great employee Gary is, but,” she explained, “let’s face it. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be getting this award, now would he?”

So here are just some of the things we should all know about Officer Heyward, who has modeled true professionalism and set a consistently high bar for his department.

As relayed by the Lieutenant, Officer Heyward has worked for 5 college presidents and 7 public safety directors at NVCC. In 1977, when he began working here:

  • Kinney Hall was brand new. 
  • Besides Waterbury State Technical College (WSTC), which is today Founders Hall, the only other building was what is now known as “the Core” (1st and 2nd floor of central campus). 
  • Classes were held at what is now Roller Magic, and every night Officer Heyward would have to go down there and lock up the building.      
  • Parking was in C, D, E and F lots and on both sides of the roadway.  According to Officer Heyward, it really was a disaster.
  • Joe Cutrali was the day shift custodian, primarily cleaning toilets, at WSTC.
  • The Public Safety vehicle was a 3-wheel scooter and on occasion, Officer Heyward would have to drive that scooter to pick up payroll in Hartford.  Since the vehicle only went 35 mph, he would be escorted by a state trooper all the way up and back on 84 in the right hand lane, which, he confirms, was a full day’s work.
  • Later, the Public Safety Department had a Chevy Chevette with a bubble light and a Plymouth Volare` before upgrading to the Ford Crown Victorias.
  • In his almost 38 years here, Officer Heyward has issued about 49,728 parking tickets.
  • IF (and that’s a big IF) Officer Heyward ever retires, he will probably head north to one of his favorite retreats – Lake George, where he may be interested in a part-time job on lake patrol.

Congratulations, Officer Heyward!

Nominating Committee: Sgt. Jeff D’Alusio, Dr. Pamela Tolbert-Bynum, Arts and Humanities Divison Director; Elizabeth Frechette, Librarian; and Davey Peguero, Student Government Association President.

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