August 7, 2020
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With a 25-year career as a Connecticut state trooper, Rob Derry has no shortage of stories to share. Photo courtesy of Rob Derry

With a 25-year career as a Connecticut state trooper, Rob Derry has no shortage of stories to share. (Photo courtesy of Rob Derry )

Rob Derry: Protecting, Serving, and Serving Some More

Published April 15, 2020

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Rob Derry’s career choice was never complicated.

“I knew early on that I wanted to be a state trooper,” he says. “To tell you the truth, I never had any other ambitions. I can’t think of too many days where I wasn’t looking forward to going to work.”

Rob grew up in East Granby, where he lived next door to his grandparents. Rob’s grandfather was a state trooper and Rob can recall the stories he used to tell, the sight of his police car, and other details that formed an early impression.

At age 19, he started applying for jobs in police departments.

Rob began his career in the East Granby Police Department, but soon after was able to fulfill his dream of becoming a state trooper. He graduated from the state police academy in July 1995 and was stationed in the barracks at Troop L in Litchfield. In the 25 years since that time, Rob has held a variety of posts from serving as resident state trooper in Old Lyme, being a patrol trooper in Westbrook, and now as administrate sergeant with Troop G in Bridgeport.

“I do everything administrative from being the public information officer to dealing with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Corrections. I also review all motor vehicle fatalities,” Rob says.

During the course of his long career, he says he has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. Some stories he says are humorous, while other are more hair-raising.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of crazy situations,” he notes.

One case that stands out in particular occurred in 2013. There was a car chase that started in Old Saybrook and ended in Westbrook after two men committed an armed robbery in Old Saybrook. One state trooper was shot and one suspect was killed. Rob was one of the troopers who arrived on the scene and helped secure the second suspect and transport the trooper—who recovered—to get medical attention.

While there are certainly exciting stories that occur over a long career in law enforcement, Rob maintains that his favorite part of the job is helping get tasks get finished and helping people.

“That’s the satisfying part of the career,” he says. “Even on a bad day, someone has to do this job.”

Rob says he’s been fortunate to work with a multitude of different people in different positions across his career, so he’s able to know who to contact when presented with an issue that needs to be solved.

Besides his career in law enforcement, Rob serves Clinton by being a member of the Board of Police Commissioners. Rob successfully won election to the position in 2019. The board works to provide civilian oversight of the police department on matters such as budgets and department positions.

Rob notes that his role on the commission is purely as a civilian, despite his background. He says he is proud voters supported him and that he enjoys working with the other commissioners.

“I’m proud of the men and women of the Clinton Police Department. They do a phenomenal job,” says Rob.

Rob credits his other grandfather, who served as a first selectman when Rob was growing up, with instilling in him an interest in town politics.

“I witnessed the service aspect of both law enforcement and town politics,” says Rob.

Another person who was instrumental in getting Rob involved in town politics was Dick Smith, the longtime first selectman of Deep River whom Rob got to know during his time as a state trooper in Westbrook. “Mr. Deep River,” as Rob fondly calls Smith, encouraged Rob to get involved in the town politics, but Rob was always reluctant.

“Then after he passed away, I said to myself, ‘Yeah, I should,’” Rob reflects.

Thus began his foray into town politics where Rob credits his ability to get along with people as a strength.

In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Aimee, who is the vice-president of business development for Northeast Medical Group, and their children Connor and Lindsey. Rob can be found getting exercise hiking and walking his dog Tucker. If you frequent local venues you may be able to occasionally catch Rob filling in on drums for the band Rock Bottom, which Rob says plays dancing music from the ‘60s to present day.

Rob has lived in Clinton for close to 21 years.

“There are so many good people who really care about the town here,” he says. “I’ve made some of my best friends of my life in Clinton.”

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