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End of an Era: Officer Tracy Signs Off

After 32 years, this local legend has retired from the North Andover Police Department.

North Andover Police Officer Tracy Castiglione has retired. Photo Credit: Bryan McGonigle
North Andover Police Officer Tracy Castiglione has retired. Photo Credit: Bryan McGonigle
There are few people you can call "Number One" and be accurate. But North Andover Police Officer Tracy Castiglione has held that distinction -- Badge number 1.

Last week, Castiglione retired from the department after 32 years.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with the second half of my life, but I'm going to do something," Castiglione said. "I'll probably do something to give back, but I don't know what yet."

Castiglione was the first woman officer in the department in 1982. Since then, she has helped reshape the way North Andover Police help the kids of the town.

"She helped institute the D.A.R.E. program in North Andover," Police Chief Paul Gallagher said. "In those days back in the early 90s, having police officers in schools really wasn't commonplace. Those days she wore a uniform, and it wasn't widely accepted having an officer with a weapon in the schools."

But in time, Castiglione worked hard with school administration officials and eventually was not only accepted but also became a member of the faculty in addition to becoming a police detective.

"The D.A.R.E program, through her efforts, became the school resource officer program," Gallagher said. The kids came to trust her so much she earned the name "Officer Tracy", and that nickname has stuck with her through today. "She's dealt with a lot of juvenile issues including sexual assault, teen dating violence, domestic issues at home."

When she left her role as school resource officer, the middle school threw her a going-away party.

Castiglione also helped women with sexual assault investigations, since many women prefer a female officer in those cases.

"She was trusted by the victims and witnesses," Gallagher said. "Her success rate was very good in the courts. I was her lieutenant when she was a detective, and she received a lot of compliments Chief Stanley and me."

"We're very sorry to her leave," Gallagher continued.

Castiglione's favorite part of the job? The people.

"Really, there are some wonderful people here," she said.

Since Castiglione was the most senior police officer, she was given the badge number 1. Now that she has retired, that badge number goes to the new most senior officer, Officer. Daniel Quinlan.

Don't expect Castiglione to spend retirement relaxing full-time. She plans on working in the future.

"I liked working with young people, so I think I might stick with that," Castiglione said.
Andrea January 15, 2014 at 06:54 AM
Best of luck in the future Tracey! Thank you for your service to the town.

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