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Michael J. Fallon, 47, Chief Of The State Capitol Police, Dies

STEVEN GOODE

December 05, 2009

HARTFORD - Michael J. Fallon, chief of the State Capitol Police, died of cancer Friday at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center. He was 47.

Fallon, who spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement in the city, developed his interest in police work as a teenager in the Hartford Police Department's Police Explorer program.

Born in Hartford and a graduate of South Catholic High School, Fallon rose through the ranks of the city police during a 23-year career. Before his retirement as assistant chief and chief of patrol in 2006, Fallon served as chief of the South District, chief of emergency services tactical teams and, in 2005, co-authored the department's neighborhood policing program.

Fallon also commanded several department units: street crime suppression, professional standards and inspections, special operations-emergency services, and central business district.

Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts began his career with the department about six months before Fallon and rose through the ranks with him. The two were promoted to deputy chief together in 2004 and wrote the neighborhood policing program together.

He remembered Fallon as a " sharp, squared away," no-nonsense police officer who held his fellow officers to the highest standards.

"He didn't tolerate foolishness," Roberts said. "He left a mark on our department and our city."

Fallon, who became chief of the State Capitol Police on Dec. 1 2006, was also remembered by Gov. M. Jodi Rell and other elected state officials as an outstanding, passionate police officer, leader and role model.

"Chief Fallon loved his job here and he loved the people who work here," House Speaker Chris Donovan and Majority Leader Denise Merrill said in a statement. "We loved him as well. He will be greatly missed, but the high standard of professionalism he brought to ensuring public safety in and around the Legislative Office Building and state Capitol complex leaves us a lasting legacy."

State Capitol Police Lt. Stephen Hajdasz, who worked with Fallon in both departments since 1987, said policing was a mainstay of Fallon's life and that his death left a void that would not easily be filled.

Barry Square resident Hyacinth Yennie, a proponent of the neighborhood policing program and chairwoman of the Maple Avenue Revitalization Group, said Fallon was dedicated to neighborhood policing even after he left for the Capitol.

"He was still our friend and kept in touch," Yennie said. "Even though he left, he came back to meet with us. He was a caring man."

Fallon, who lived in Wethersfield, is survived by his wife, Sheryl, a son and a daughter. Calling hours are scheduled for Tuesday and the funeral and burial are scheduled for Wednesday. Details were not finalized Friday.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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