Remembering Daniel Wasson

How the Milford Community Carries on the Legacy of a Fallen Officer


Ellie Pasacreta

Daniel S. Wasson Field: Banner hanging high in remembrance of Daniel S. Wasson, December 8, 2022.

          Everyone passes by the Daniel S. Wasson Baseball Field that hosts countless sporting events throughout the year, but not everyone knows the story behind Wasson himself. 

          Daniel Wasson was a U.S. Air Force Veteran who worked for the Milford Police Department for two years as a K-9 officer. According to a plaque located within Foran High School, where Wasson graduated in 1979, Wasson was one of Milford’s first K-9 officers.

          Wasson joined the Milford Police Department on March 1, 1985, and had been awarded for outstanding performance on duty three times. 

          On April 12, 1987, Wasson was killed during a routine motor vehicle stop with his dog, General, when the driver of the vehicle shot him in the chest. 

          One month later, in May 1987, Milford stepped in to ensure Wasson’s memory would live on forever throughout the community. The city officially named the baseball field on 70 West River Street Daniel S. Wasson Field. 

          In addition to the field, several scholarships exist to remember the fallen police officer, including the Milford Police Benevolent Association’s Daniel S. Wasson Scholarship. This scholarship is annually awarded to a student who has strong community involvement and has high academic success in the field of criminal justice. 

          The funds for Wasson’s scholarship comes from an annual golf tournament at the Grassy Hill Country Club. The benefit consists of a variety of sponsors, contests, raffle prizes, and meals for people to give money towards. 

          This year, Foran’s wrestling team is also doing their part to contribute to Wasson’s memory by selling T-shirts as a fundraiser for the Milford Police Department. 

          Wrestling coach David Esposito says “Every year, the captains on the wrestling team chose a service project that the team will dedicate its season working for.” 

          On February 8, the last home match of the season, wrestling will be holding a special event called “Wrestle for Wasson.” They will be honoring those officers and presenting the Milford Police Department with their donations from the fundraiser. 

          Each year, on the anniversary of Wasson’s passing, the Milford Police Department has new police academy recruits run approximately four miles in the early morning hours to the site of Wasson’s death to listen to his last radio call and pay their respects to the fallen officer. 

          School Resource Officer Kayleigh Kish comments, “It helps for the officers to relate more by actually being out there and remembering what happened. Daniel Wasson made the ultimate sacrifice so it is his legacy to our department that we honor and remember him by.” 

          In 1993, as a way to honor Wasson, the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association alongside the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association created The Daniel Wasson Memorial K-9 Award. This award is given out annually to a K-9 team in Connecticut for outstanding service.

          Mr. Steve Wydra, a former Milford officer and friend of Wasson, says the various memorials ensure that the community will not “forget Danny and that he will always be in Milford’s heart. The police department made a commitment to never forget Danny, badge 60, so whenever a Milford officer hears badge 60, it brings back memories of Danny.”