WESTPORT — The Westport Police Department will bid farewell to Deputy Chief Vincent Penna, a 26-year veteran with the force and a hometown kid, after he announced he will be retiring at the beginning of October.

Penna, who was hired by the department in 1991 as a part-time traffic agent before becoming a full-time officer in 1994, “led a commendable and exemplary” career peppered with numerous commendation, awards and accolades, wrote Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas.

In addition to serving as president of Westport Police Union and the Westport Police Benevolent Association for the past four years, Penna has served the department in several capacities. From his beginnings as a patrol officer, Penna worked his way up the ranks, becoming a detective in 2001 and sergeant in 2006, before returning to the detective bureau in a leadership role and eventually ascending to deputy chief in 2016.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to either work in or supervise almost every division of the department,” said Penna. “I feel fortunate to have been able to work in the town I grew up in with the best men and women in law enforcement and can honestly say I’ve enjoyed coming to work every day.”

Penna said that his legacy at the department will be defined by his work to get Westport included in Norwalk’s juvenile review board, which affords the town’s youth an alternative to being charged criminally if they meet certain criteria, and his role in helping the department become one of 40 around the state that achieved Tier 1 accreditation.

“Deputy Chief Penna takes with him a great deal of experience and knowledge. We worked together for many years. We came up through the ranks together, navigated through difficult times and shared countless laughs. He’ll certainly be missed by the men and women that worked with him. We all wish him the best in his retirement,” said Koskinas.

The vacancy left by Penna’s retirement will be filled by a restructuring of the police department organization, which will include the promotion of Lt. David Farrell and Lt. Ryan Paulsson to the rank of captain.

ptomlinson@hearstmediact.com; 203-842-2570; Twitter: @Tomlinson_PE