Meriden, CT – Meriden Police Department Lieutenant Lawrence “Larry” Guidobono died of an undisclosed illness on Christmas Day, just days before his planned retirement.
The 57-year-old lieutenant served his department for 33 years, and was well-known and well-respected throughout the community, WTIC reported.
“Lt. Guidobono was an incredible man and an example of everything honorable about the profession,” Meriden Police Officer Christopher Morin told Blue Lives Matter on Sunday. “He served for over 30 [years] and lived to lead his fellow officers.”
Known affectionately as “Guido” around the office, Lt. Guidobono was described as an exemplary leader who was “always the first one through the door,” his obituary read.
"He was a cop's cop," Meriden Police Sergeant John Mennone told WTIC.
"Everyone that we’ve been hearing from says the same thing – that he is someone that they were always able to talk to and someone that was open and honest with them," Sgt. Mennone added.
Lt. Guidobono graduated first in his Connecticut Police Academy class and was awarded the highest of honors, according to his obituary.
He was hired by the Meriden Police Department in 1985, and joined the agency’s SWAT team sniper unit in 1988, the Record-Journal reported.
In 2004, he became the SWAT team commander, according to his obituary.
He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1997, moved into the internal affairs division in 2001, and was ultimately promoted to the rank of lieutenant in 2003, the Record-Journal reported.
Lt. Guidobono was the commander of the patrol division at the time of his death, and was expected to have retired a week after he passed away.
He was described as being “tough as nails,” and was “very proud of the officers he worked with and mentored,” his obituary read.
“Dear Meriden and All Her Citizens Within,” the Meriden Police Department wrote in a Facebook post two days after the lieutenant’s tragic death. “You have recently lost a servant who had devoted over 30 years of his life to your wellness and protection.”
“An enthusiast of our nation’s military, he responded to an inner calling that brought him into law enforcement, and thankfully, our lives,” the post read. “Our condolences to his family and you, Meriden. For the loss of Lieutenant Lawrence Guidobono leaves a void we can only hope to fill but know, in our heart of hearts, will never be satisfied.”
Meriden Deputy Mayor Michael Cardona said Lt. Guidobono would long be remembered for his dedication and devotion to the community he served.
“Thirty-three years of distinguished service is something amazing,” Cardona told the Record-Journal. “[He was] dedicated to the city of Meriden. It’s a huge loss to the city of Meriden, to his family, and to the department.”
Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati said that the local community is a better place because of the lieutenant’s years of service.
"The passing of Lt. Guidobono has left a hole in the Meriden Police department and our entire community” Scarpati told WFSB. “He was committed to making Meriden a better and brighter place to live and work."
Lt. Guidobono leaves behind his children, Joshua, Zachary, and Erica, as well as his mother, siblings, nephews, and ex-wife.
“The Guidobono family would like to share their gratitude for the great men and women of the Meriden Police Department for the love and support they have shown their brother through his time of service,” his obituary read. “His fellow officers have been an abiding source of comfort during this profoundly painful period.”
Lt. Guidobono will be laid to rest on Saturday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Meriden Police Department Lieutenant Lawrence “Larry” Guidobono, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.