Dedham Detective Richard Porro, who solved a string of housebreaks involving elderly residents over the summer, has been named Dedham’s Officer of the Year.
Led by Dedham Chief Michael d’Entremont, police officers cheered for Porro Monday afternoon and presented him with a plaque.
“I think it’s the ultimate job,” Porro said Monday of being a police detective. “You get to outthink people, it’s challenging and it’s always different. There are a million ways to catch a criminal.”
He got the job and served in The Big Apple from 1993 to 1997. After holding a police job in Westborough for four years, he started in Dedham in 2001 and has been with here since then.
“This was where I wanted to be,” Porro said.
He began in Dedham as an officer, but always wanted to be a detective. He credits Dedham Lieutenant Cliff Paschal with giving him time early on to work cases he thought he could solve.
“If I thought I had something workable, he would give me the chance to work it,” Porro said.
One of Porro’s big cases of the last year was that of a string of break-ins on O’Neil Drive. Coming into the office on a day off, Porro discovered a pattern to the robberies, which involved cutting screens and moving furniture beneath windows.
The pattern matched an older string of housebreaks, along with other crimes in Watertown. The evidence led Porro to Anthony D. Andullero of Dorchester, who was indicted and will face a court date in Dedham Superior Court next Monday, according to Porro.
Porro said he was able to place Andullero in Dedham on the night of the break-ins using computer records of a GPS device Andullero had to wear following a Newton arrest in May.
Porro continues to work on break-ins in Dedham, and was interviewing a victim on Cedar Street the same day he got his award.
He chalks up his selection as Officer of the Year to his love of the work and the fact that he had a good year with arrests. For others in search of the same recognition, he offered a bit of advice: “The only thing limiting you on the job is how hard you want to work and your own imagination.”