Manchester, CT – Manchester Police Department (MPD) Sergeant Stephen Bresciano died on Oct. 17, following a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
The 49-year-old sergeant continued to proudly serve with MPD after receiving his cancer diagnosis in 2018, the department said in a Facebook post.
Several weeks before his death, Sgt. Bresciano invited close friends and family members to gather at his home one last time, the Journal Inquirer reported.
“I told him he would live on through all of the officers that he mentored and trained,” MPD Chief William Darby recalled. “As we shared some tears, he said that he only wished he could have worked here longer – and what we all would have given for that.”
Sgt. Bresciano “passed away peacefully at home after spending much of the day surrounded by his family,” according to an update on a Facebook page chronicling the veteran officer’s cancer battle.
He served with MPD for nearly 23 years, the Journal Inquirer reported.
The highly-decorated sergeant was the recipient of a multitude of awards throughout his career, including the Medal of Life Saving he received in 2018 after performing CPR to save a citizen.
“I know for a lot of boys, their father is their hero,” Chief Darby told Sgt. Bresciano’s son’s during his memorial service. “I can tell you firsthand that your dad was a real-life hero.”
The chief described Sgt. Bresciano as “selfless,” and said he was “truly a great representative for our department,” the Journal Inquirer reported.
Sgt. Bresciano earned three college degrees while working full-time for the MPD, according to his obituary.
He also served the Connecticut Department of Corrections from 1994 until 1997.
During his 23 years with the MPD, Sgt. Bresciano served as a traffic unit officer, field training officer, and firearms instructor.
He was also a member of the multiagency Capitol Region Emergency Services Team (CREST) for 11 years, and eventually became the tactical team’s operator, according to his obituary.
Sgt. Bresciano played an essential role in coordinating and establishing the Capitol Region Special Weapons and Tactics School, which provides basic training for new tactical officers from all over the state.
After being promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2013, he went on to head the MPD’s Traffic Unit from 2014 until 2018, and had overseen the Training Unit since 2019, according to his obituary.
Sgt. Bresciano leaves behind his wife, Karen, as well as his sons, Joseph and Jonathan.
He is also survived by his mother, sister, and many friends and extended family members.
Sgt. Bresciano was laid to rest on Oct. 22.
— Manchester CT FF's (@Local1579) October 22, 2020
It is with great sadness we announce the death of Sergeant Stephen Bresciano. Sergeant Bresciano passed away on October 17, 2020 after battling pancreatic cancer for the past two years. He proudly served for over 22 years. May he Rest In Peace – we have the watch from here. pic.twitter.com/VKfuFWs2TD
— Manchester Police Department (@manchester_pd) October 19, 2020
— Manchester CT FF's (@Local1579) October 18, 2020
Manchester Police and officers from area departments are preparing for the memorial service for MPD Sgt. Stephen Bresciano who past away after a long battle with cancer. Staff Photographer Jim Michaud and will have photos on this in Friday's JI and on our website as well. pic.twitter.com/siCeQI9Aac
— JI Photo Dept (@JIPhotoDept) October 22, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Manchester Police Department Sergeant Stephen Bresciano, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.