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MERIDEN --A longtime Meriden police Lieutenant, who was due to retire next week, after 33 years on the job, passed away on Christmas Day.
Lt. Lawrence (Larry) Guidobono was a man who was impossible to miss, not only for his physical stature, but for all that he meant to the Meriden community.
From Internal Affairs, to the Meriden PD's SWAT team and training division, the 57-year-old was easy to label.
"He was a cop's cop," saig Meriden Police Sgt. John Mennone.
Because Guidobono served the community for 33 years, the outpouring of support for the police department, whose sign is draped in black bunting, has been moving.
"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," said Mennone.
He’s been very much etched into my memory for a very amusing experience," said Meriden City Manager Tim Coon, who has only held this post for four months, but he first met Lt. Guidobono about 20 years ago, when Coon taught a first line supervision class at the police academy.
"I was using as part of my instruction a clip from the movie Gettysburg," Coon said.
Then, something funny happened.
"While the video is being shown he says that’s me," said Coon, referring to Guidobono pointing at the screen.
Lt. Guidobono was an extra in that movie.
"He was a Civil War reenactor," Coon noted.
And Larry loved the military, even though he never served.
"He came in every day with a quote from the military," said Mennone. "He was just that kind a guy. He always came in and gave the troops that message for the day to go out there and serve their community."
It remains unclear what caused Guiodobono's death. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner says that will take six to eight weeks to determine.
"I know he had some flu like symptoms and seeing things of that nature and had taken a couple of days off and again unfortunately we find out the bad news on Christmas Day." said Mennone.
Fellow officers are also remembering Larry by wearing mourning bands on their badges.
Guidobono leaves behind three children - ages 22, 20 and 16.
Calling hours will be held next Fri., Jan. 4, at the D’Esopo Funeral Home, 277 Folly Brook Boulevard Wethersfield, CT 06109 from 3-7. The funeral will be Saturday morning, Jan. 5, at 10 AM at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Meriden. Both are open to the public according to family.