When Lt. Richard Santangelo arrived on his first day with the Belmont Police Department in 1979, his first issued "duty belt" included a .38 caliber revolver, a wooden baton and an oversized, portable radio that could weight anyone down.
Fast forward 34 years and this past Thursday, Sept. 26, Santangelo was at Harris Field on assignment at the Belmont High School Boys' Soccer match. As always, he was a steady, friendly presence at the game with a greeting and handshake to many at the game.
And it was there he let residents know that it would be his final assignment around town as he was ready to retire. When asked why he hadn't made his decision known to people around town, he simply responded, "Oh, that's not my way."
So it was the Belmont Police which announced Santangelo's retirement after four decades of service and dedication to the Belmont, his last official day of service on Monday, Oct. 1.
(But you can expect to see Santangelo around town as he said that he'll be picking up a few part-time assignments "here and there" in Belmont.)
Santangelo held many positions within the Belmont Police on both the day and night shifts and was known around town for his easy-going nature. Within the department, he will be remembered for his expertise and knowledge of firearms and firearms training. He also showed great patience as the media relations officer, handling inquests from noisy reporters and editors.
"Santangelo is a true professional who has been a leader at the Belmont Police Department and has demonstrated innovation, and a dedication to duty and service," said the department release.
"The Belmont Police would like to thank Santangelo and his family for their service to Belmont and its Police Department and we wish them all the best moving forward."