By TAYLOR HARTZ
A bridge at westbound exit 32 Queen Street on I-84 will be named in honor of Lieutenant Michael J. Shanley, who served the Southington Police Department for 29-years.
Legislation for the dedication was introduced by Rep. David Zoni (D-Conn.) in February, and was passed by the General Assembly during special session last week.
“I am pleased that the legislature has passed the bill that includes a provision that honors Lieutenant Shanley,” said Zoni.
Shanley began his career with the Southington Police Department in 1985, after graduating from the Connecticut Police Academy.
The lieutenant served the department as a member of the Serious/Fatal Accident and Investigation Team, the Detective Division, and the Statewide Narcotics Task Force.
The 50-year-old Southington resident lost a 22-month battle with Glioblastoma in September of 2014.
“Michael was a very special police officer,” said Captain William Palmieri of the SPD, “He poured his heart and soul into the community and his work.”
During his career, Shanley was recognized by the Southington Elks Club and the Knights of St. Patrick as Officer of the Year, and received several awards for his service.
“It’s a well deserved accolade,” said Palmieri, “He’s still missed to this day and will always be missed.”
Shanley’s naming of the westbound bridge will accompany a designation to Trooper John A. Dolan on the eastbound side of the exit. The two officers were close friends.
Dolan, a Southington resident, served the Connecticut State Police for 12 years before losing his own battle with cancer in May of 2002 at the age of 36.
“Both sides of the bridge at Exit 32, Queen St., will be named to pay tribute to both men,” said Zoni of honoring the two officers.
Zoni has been in contact with members of Shanley’s family to schedule a naming ceremony in his memory.