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    Monday, March 20, 2023

    Groton City Police Officer loves interacting with the community

    Officer Alejandro Rosa poses for a portrait at the Groton City Police Department on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022. (Sarah Gordon / The Day)

    Groton ― City of Groton Police Officer Alejandro Rosa said his father was the first Hispanic police officer in Southbridge, Mass. and inspired many Hispanic individuals, including Southbridge’s deputy police chief, to follow in his footsteps.

    “He was a very well-respected member of the community,” Rosa said of his father who started programs for children and retired in 2016.

    Growing up, Rosa said his father sheltered him from the tough aspects of the job and initially didn’t want him to become a police officer. Rosa earned an associates degree in baking and pastry arts and a bachelors degree in food service management at Johnson & Wales University, but during his internships, Rosa realized that career wasn’t for him.

    Rosa’s brother became a federal police officer, and Rosa applied to be a federal police officer at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he worked for seven years.

    In 2013, Rosa, who is Hispanic and of Puerto Rican heritage, joined the City of Groton Police Department to be closer to family, and he and his wife are raising their two children in Lisbon.

    As an officer, Rosa, 38, works with Groton-based Community Speaks Out, which helps connect families and individuals struggling with opioid addiction to treatment and recovery resources. Rosa gives information on resources to families whose loved one had an overdose.

    Rosa said his mother’s side of the family has experienced substance abuse, so he understands what addiction does to families.

    “I definitely try to share that with them and say, ‘I’m not here to judge you,’” he said. “We all have a story.”

    Rosa said “the community is the mission,” for the city police department, and he enjoys communicating with people and stopping by local businesses.

    “I like getting out, talking with people,” Rosa said. Sometimes people will speak with him in Spanish ― in which he is conversational ― and Rosa said that can help people feel more comfortable.

    Rosa said the city is diverse, especially with Electric Boat and Pfizer. The police department has Hispanic, Black, white, Asian and Native American officers, and people see them working together.

    “When they see us all working together, that’s a true togetherness,” he said.


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