HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A Hamden police officer was killed in a crash just two days after retiring from the department, according to Hamden police.

The department said Officer Michael Pantera was killed during a crash in North Branford on August 2. Officer Pantera, a 24-year veteran of the Hamden Police Department, retired two days prior to the crash on July 31.

Hamden police called Officer Pantera a compassionate police officer that cared deeply about the community.

Acting Chief of Police Timothy Wydra released a statement saying, “Mike Pantera was a compassionate and caring Police Officer who was very proud to serve in the town where he was raised and still had family living here. He was always ready to lend a hand or volunteer to help an Officer or community member. We mourn his loss and remember him as a genuine, loyal, hardworking, and kind-hearted person who touched everyone he met. We were all shocked and saddened to hear about his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Hamden Mayor Lauren Garrett also released a statement saying, “I extend my deepest condolences to the Hamden Police Department and to the family and loved ones of Officer Pantera. As a member of the Community Police Division and Bicycle Patrol Unit, Officer Pantera represented the best of our police department with many close and friendly interactions with our residents. I have ordered all Town flags to be lowered to half-mast to honor Officer Michael Pantera.”

According to North Branford Police, officers responded to a one-car crash on Foxon Road. Emergency crews performed life-saving measures.

North Branford Police Department said, “Our heartfelt sorrow and sympathy goes to Michael Pantera’s family, friends, relatives, and Hamden Police Department.”

The accident reconstruction team is continuing to investigate the cause of the crash. North Branford police are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact them at 203-484-2703.