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Hero Down: Waterford Police Department Officer Adam Lapkowski Dies By Suicide

Preston, CT – Waterford Police Department (WPD) Officer Adam Lapkowski died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Jan. 2, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The 37-year-old officer had been reported as missing prior to his vehicle being found at the Poquetanuck Cemetery by the Connecticut State Police (CSP) at approximately 12:20 p.m., CT Insider reported.

Police found Officer Lapkowski’s body lying on the ground at the cemetery, according to the CSP.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unknown how long he had been missing.

The Connecticut Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ultimately determined Officer Lapkowski died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, The Day reported.

The fallen officer’s mother, Joanne Witt-Lapkowski, was murdered in 1996 at the age of 40 and was buried in the same cemetery where he later took his own life, according to the paper.

Witt-Lapkowski’s killer is currently serving a 40-year prison sentence, The Day reported.

Officer Lapkowski dedicated 14 years of his life to his law enforcement career.

“Adam was a great person. He was one of our finest officers who was highly respected, well liked and incredibly skilled,” WPD Chief Marc Balestracci told The Day. “He was a friend, a mentor and a valuable asset to our officers and the community. His legacy will continue to impact many.”

He was named Officer of the Year in 2019, and also served as a field training officer, assistant fleet manager, marine patrol mate, and officer first class during his time with the WPD, according to his obituary.

“Adam’s clear passions were his children and his job as a Waterford Policeman where he considered his brothers and sisters in blue an extension of his family,” the tribute read.

Officer Lapkowski leaves behind his wife, Shana, and their sons, Bryson and Grant.

He is also survived by his sister, uncles, aunts, cousin, and his in-laws.

A fundraising campaign established to help his family in the wake of their loss has raised more than $17,000 so far.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Waterford Police Department Officer Adam Lapkowski, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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