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The Mystic Irish Parade Foundation is proud to recognize this year’s parade as our historic 10th annual celebration! We are proud to have established such an exciting and growing tradition in Mystic and for the community of Southeastern Connecticut. Local participation has made this parade a keystone in family entertainment and a phenomenal Irish/Celtic cultural event for people of all ages. As the Irish would say, “Tús maith leath na hoibre!” ‘A good start is half the work,’ so congratulations on an amazing ten years and cheers to many more celebrations to come!
In special commemoration of our tenth year, the Mystic Irish Parade Foundation is proud to announce its selection for the Grand Marshal of the Mystic St. Patrick’s Parade on March 24th, 2013. This honor is bestowed to a dedicated member of Southeastern Connecticut, who effortlessly contributes their time and energy to making their community a better place. For 2013, the Foundation Board is pleased to announce that Michael Crowley, Chief of the Groton Police Department, is the Grand Marshal for the Mystic St. Patrick’s Parade this year.
Michael Crowley’s paternal great grandfather immigrated to the Blackstone Valley region of Massachusetts in 1824 from County Cork, Ireland. Mike grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts taking his first job as an EMT-I with the Worcester City Ambulance. His dedication to the community’s safety transpired into a desire to become a police officer. He soon fulfilled his dream and joined the Hartford Police Department in 1982, his start to a successful 31 year career.
In 1985, Mike paid a visit to Southeastern Connecticut and fell in love with the area. He soon transferred to the Groton Town Police Department and since, has not only served on the Groton Narcotics Task Force, but the Statewide Narcotics Task Force as well. Besides also serving on the Dive Team and Special Response Team, Mike was instrumental in developing the department’s first bicycle patrol, later becoming an International Instructor for Bicycle training.
Michael Crowley’s greatest achievement was being appointed Chief of the Groton Police Department in 2011. “I have risen through the ranks, holding every supervisory position before being appointed Chief. That was a lifelong dream.”
Mike graduated from the University of New Haven with a degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy, a ten week training session in Quantico, Virginia. The program supports and focuses on leadership and professional development for upper level police executives from around the world. Less than 1% of all police executives are fortunate enough to be selected for this training.
Mike has resided in the Stonington-Mystic area since coming to Southeastern Connecticut. He lives with his four beautiful children, Philip, Ryan, Molly and Griffin and his fiancée Leslie. “I love the area and it was a great honor to be asked to be this year’s grand marshal,” says Crowley.
Mike is actively involved in the local community, as a member of St. Patrick’s Parish, Mystic Knights of Columbus Council 1943, and the Mystic Park Committee. He has also been active in coaching Mystic Little League, Mystic Babe Ruth and Stonington Youth Football. Mr. Crowley also has an active role in the departments’ participation with the Special Olympics.
“I am very proud of my Irish heritage and have visited the homeland once, even locating a Mr. Crowley who owned a pub in Killorglan. We were ‘related’ just for that night!” Mike plans to take his entire family there when he retires.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Mr. Crowley as our Grand Marshall this year. Not only has he committed his life to making our community a safer place, but has gone above and beyond to making sure it is a better place too,” says Neil Ryan, Vice President of the Mystic Irish Parade Foundation.