‘THE PEO­PLE LOVE YOU AND YOU DE­SERVE OUR RE­SPECT’

Ed Zunino hon­ored for long and dis­tin­guished po­lice ca­reer

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Fran Maye fmaye@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @ken­nettpa­per on Twit­ter

KEN­NETT SQUARE >> Scores of law en­force­ment of­fi­cials, lo­cal law­mak­ers, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Tom Ho­gan, chief county De­tec­tive Kevin Dykes, Com­mon Pleas Judge Pa­trick Car­mody, fam­ily and friends were among more than 250 peo­ple to at­tend a re­tire­ment send-off for Ed Zunino, long­time Ken­nett Square po­lice chief who re­tired re­cently af­ter 42 years.

“When the com­mu­nity is safe and peo­ple feel safe and can live and work safely, that’s when busi­nesses thrive and peo­ple move to town,” Ken­nett Square Mayor Matt Fet­ick said at the event held at the Red Clay Room in Ken­nett Square. “The chief’s lead­er­ship made that pos­si­ble.”

Zunino told his wife, Lois, he loved her and thanked her for sup­port over the years.

“I very much en­joyed my ca­reer,” Zunino said. “It’s a dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion be­cause I loved what I did. But I knew it was time, and I think I made the right move. We have ex­cel­lent peo­ple tak­ing over.”

Zunino was show­ered with awards, plaques and citations. He even re­ceived a key to the bor­ough, and a street sign named in his honor.

State Rep. Steve Bar­rar,

“You will not see this kind of man walk this way again. He has a sense of in­tegrity that’s miss­ing from public ser­vants all around the United States.” — Ch­ester County Dis­trict At­tor­ney Tom Ho­gan

R-160, of Up­per Chich­ester, and state Rep. John Lawrence, R-13, of West Grove, pre­sented Zunino with a state flag that was flown over the Capi­tol in Har­ris­burg. Bar­rar is run­ning against In­de­pen­dent David Cleary of Con­cord in the Nov. 8 elec­tion; Lawrence is run­ning against Lon­don Grove Demo­crat Nancy Dean.

“You cer­tainly have left this town bet­ter off than you found it,” Bar­rar said. “The peo­ple love you and you de­serve our re­spect. We thank you for your ser­vice and the many, many years of pro­tect­ing the ci­ti­zens of Ken­nett Square.”

Ho­gan told the story about how Zunino came to in­ves­ti­gate a 25-year-old mur­der case, where the de­fen­dant fled to Mex­ico. “He

told me no­body else seems to care,” Ho­gan said, adding Zunino promised the fam­ily he would never let the case die. “He cared about ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­body.”

Ho­gan said he gained much re­spect for Zunino when two of Ken­nett Square’s best of­fi­cers sought to be­come county de­tec­tives. Zunino only cared about what was good for the of­fi­cers and their fam­i­lies.

“His re­ac­tion speaks vol­umes about his in­tegrity,” Ho­gan said. “You will not see this kind of man walk this way again. He has a sense of in­tegrity that’s miss­ing from public ser­vants all around the United States.”

And Fet­ick told the story about how Zunino went to lengths to nab the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for graf­fiti re­cently. “He told me he was not go­ing to let them get away with it,” Fet­ick said. “He wanted to find them and stop it. He said when

those things snow­ball, the qual­ity of life goes down. He was 35 years into his ca­reer, and he could have coasted, did the bare min­i­mum. This is the kind of loy­alty of lead­er­ship he has brought to the po­lice depart­ment.”

Car­mody said he rarely at­tends re­tire­ments be­cause he doesn’t want peo­ple ac­cus­ing him of fa­voritism, but made an ex­cep­tion for Zunino.

“There’s a lot of di­vi­sion to­day between po­lice and com­mu­ni­ties, but not in Ken­nett,” Car­mody said. “It’s the way he car­ries him­self, and he treats ev­ery­body the same way. What is re­fresh­ing is his hu­mil­ity.”

Teresa Bass, who lives on East Lin­den Street, said Zunino was sin­gle-hand­edly re­spon­si­ble for turn­ing her crime-rid­den neigh­bor­hood into one of the safest places in Ch­ester County.

Bor­ough Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Dan Maf­fei said since

mov­ing into the bor­ough in 1996, he has seen coun­cil mem­bers come and go, bor­ough man­agers come and go and busi­ness come and go. “But (Zunino) was a con­stant, he was al­ways there, steady-handed,” Maf­fei said.

State Sen. Tom Kil­lion, R-9, of Mid­dle­town, pre­sented Zunino with a ci­ta­tion for his ded­i­cated years of ser­vice, turned to him and said: “It’s clear you were loved, and re­spected and have done ter­rific things for Ken­nett Square. To serve 40 years in the same town, well, you don’t see that very of­ten.” Kil­lion is run­ning against Nether Prov­i­dence Demo­crat Marty Mol­loy in the up­com­ing elec­tion.

New Gar­den Po­lice Chief Ger­ald Simp­son said over­paid ath­letes refuse to stand, but it’s an honor to be at a cer­e­mony for a man who stood for so much. “He stood for ser­vice, jus­tice,

com­pas­sion, in­tegrity, but most of all, com­mu­nity,” Simp­son said.

Dar­ren Sed­lak, a de­tec­tive with the West Goshen Po­lice Depart­ment, said Zunino started com­mu­nity polic­ing be­fore it be­came pop­u­lar. “He was the best law en­force­ment ed­u­ca­tor I have ever known,” Sed­lak said.

For­mer Ken­nett Square Mayor Leon Spencer, who was un­able to at­tend due to a prior com­mit­ment, said in a let­ter read by his wife Kathy that Zunino was “like a bi­o­log­i­cal brother I have never had.”

“You never failed me no mat­ter what the cir­cum­stance,” Spencer said in his let­ter. “Gen­uine friend­ships are rare. You must be com­mended for your ex­per­tise and hu­mil­ity.”

Kathy Spencer told the crowd that Zunino of­ten called her on her birth­day to sing her happy birth­day.

Butch Dut­ter, pres­i­dent

of the Ch­ester Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice, Lodge 11, praised Zunino for help­ing to solve so many crimes over his long and dis­tin­guished ca­reer. There are 850 FOP mem­bers in the county and 330,000 na­tion­wide.

Zunino also re­ceived a heart­warm­ing, teary speech from his three chil­dren, telling him how much he meant to them.

Fet­ick cred­ited Ken­nett Square’s suc­cess to Zunino, say­ing he led with dis­tinc­tion.

“He is such a hum­ble per­son,” Fet­ick said.

Zunino was born and raised in Ken­nett Square, and went to Ken­nett High School. He joined the Ken­nett Square Po­lice Depart­ment in 1974 as an aux­il­iary of­fi­cer and be­came a part­time of­fi­cer in 1975 when he grad­u­ated from the po­lice acad­emy. He was hired as a full-time of­fi­cer in 1976 and has been Ken­nett Square’s po­lice chief since 2007.

PHOTOS BY FRAN MAYE — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Fred McCarthy, right, presents for­mer Ken­nett Square Po­lice Chief Ed Zunino with an orig­i­nal paint­ing of Abra­ham Lin­coln.

For­mer Po­lice Chief Ed Zunino, left, was pre­sented with a key to the bor­ough Satur­day night. Look­ing on, from left, are Dan Maf­fei, pres­i­dent of Ken­nett Square coun­cil, Coun­cil­man Geoff Bosley, and Mayor Matt Fet­ick.

Ed Zunino with his wife, Lois, at a re­tire­ment din­ner in his honor Satur­day night in Ken­nett Square.

Ed Zunino holds up a road sign in his honor as his wife, Lois, and Dan Maf­fei, pres­i­dent of Ken­nett Square coun­cil, look on.

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