Peter J. Lavery Memorial Scholarship Fund
Memorial Images


Peter lived in Newington, CT for most of his life, graduating from Newington High School in 1976. He married his wife, Pamela, in August of 1979 at the Holy Spirit Church in Newington. Early on, Peter began to investigate careers in the CT Army National Guard and law enforcement. It was his desire to earn a college degree, and he knew the National Guard would help him achieve that goal. He joined the CT Army National Guard in 1981, the 143rd Military Police unit. He was also hired by Berlin Police Dept. as a Patrol Officer in May, 1984. He graduated from the CT Police Academy in August, 1984. During this time, they started their family with the addition of Raymond, born in 1982 and Samantha, born in 1984.

Peter continued to pursue his goal of a college education. He began at Tunxis Community College in 1982, and transferred to Middlesex Community College, earning his Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement in May, 1990. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies from Eastern CT State University in December, 1996, just 5 months shy of his 40th birthday.

Peter transferred to the Newington Police Department in 1988. In June, 2002 Peter was promoted to Master Police Officer, and in August, 2002, he was assigned to Motor Officer. This was the assignment he longed for, getting paid to do something he absolutely loved to do – ride a motorcycle while on police duty!

Peter retired from the CT Army National Guard after 20 years of dedicated service in July, 2001 with the rank of major. During his tenure, he was a graduate of the CT Military Academy and Officer Candidate School. His military assignments included Infantry Platoon Leader, Infantry Company Commander, and Senior TAC Officer at the CT Military Academy. He served as Staff Officer in selected assignments and was the Battalion Executive Officer for the 143rd Forward Support Battalion. He received numerous military awards and decorations during his career.

Peter was a member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians and the Berlin Democratic Town Committee, and served as a Justice of the Peace.

Peter believed in living life to the fullest. He was a devoted husband, father, family man and friend. Peter had a number of hobbies he enjoyed in addition to riding motorcycles. He loved kayaking on the many rivers in CT, traveling, playing the guitar, walking his dogs, sharing his love of Civil War history, hosting parties for family and friends, celebrating the Christmas holiday, smoking a good cigar and “taking time to relax”.

On December 30, 2004 while working the evening shift, MPO Lavery was dispatched to a domestic complaint at 57 Mountain View Drive. He was informed by the property owner that there were no weapons on the property. MPO Peter Lavery was fatally shot multiple times with a modified assault weapon by a violent ex-convict and former state correctional guard as he descended the basement steps to conduct the search. MPO Lavery was unaware that the suspect had been improperly terminated from CT Dept. of Probation’s monitoring system. The suspect held Newington Police and neighboring SWAT teams in an extended standoff for 12 hours, then shot himself as police attempted to rescue MPO Lavery.

The family is very grateful to the Newington Police and Fire Departments, the Berlin Police Department, the CT State Police, the numerous neighboring police and rescue departments that assisted with the horrific events that occurred that night.

On Tuesday, January 4, 2005, Peter Lavery was laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery in New Britain, following a Mass of Christian Burial at Holy Spirit Church. It is estimated that thousands of people, comprised of family members, friends, police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel, military personnel, and civilians attended the funeral.

Peter is survived by his wife Pamela and his children Raymond Lavery and Samantha Lavery. He was predeceased by his parents, Gerald and Rita (Griffin) Lavery. He has two older brothers, James Lavery and Gerald Lavery, who are both retired Newington police officers. He has two older sisters, Martha Riccio of Texas and Nora Petrash of California. In addition, he is survived by a large and close extended family including his mother and father in law, sister and brother in laws, nephews, nieces, cousins and many close friends.

Peter gave so much of himself to all of us and was so much a part of our lives. We keep him in our hears and treasure all the wonderful memories. He touched so many lives in his 47 years, both personally and professionally and is missed by so many.

On October 15, 2005, the Town of Newington and Newington Police Department honored the ultimate sacrifice of Master Police Officer Peter Lavery by naming the Law Enforcement Center in his honor.

On October 14, 2006, Master Police Officer Lavery was remembered in a ceremony to dedicate of portion of Route 174 in Newington in his memory. The “Officer Peter Lavery Memorial Highway” is the stretch of New Britain Avenue from the New Britain town line to Maple Hill Avenue.

Memorial Links:
Officer Brian Aselton Memorial Scholarship Fund
Officer Down Memorial Page
Americas 911 Ride
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund


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Master Police Officer Peter J. Lavery Memorial Scholarship Fund