BEDFORD – Chief Robert Bongiorno and the Bedford Police Department announce the retirement of Sgt. Jeff Wardwell, who has served the Department and community with distinction for more than 30 years.
Early in his career, Sgt. Wardwell served as the Department’s Juvenile Officer, and later taught Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) programs at local schools. For about 20 years, he has served as the School Resource Officer within Bedford Public Schools, primarily at Bedford High School.
Within Bedford schools, Sgt. Wardwell was known for developing positive, supportive relationships with students, while coordinating with school administrators about concerns, issues, or students in need.
In 2019, Sgt. Wardwell was given the Ronald Kinlock Award for School Resource Officer of the Year by the Massachusetts Juvenile Police Officers Association (MJPOA). The award recognizes one officer each year who works with young people and shows a high level of understanding, compassion, and patience.
Sgt. Wardwell also served as a squad leader with the North East Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council, earning the respect of police officers throughout the region.
“During the past few weeks, I have received many calls and emails from those whose lives have been affected by Sgt. Wardwell,” Chief Bongiorno said. “These stories reinforce to me that Jeff has had a positive impact on generations of Bedford students.”
“We are grateful to Sgt. Wardwell for all that he has done for the students of Bedford,” Superintendent of Schools Philip Conrad said. “Jeff has been a valued member of our school communities and will be sorely missed.”
“To say Sgt. Wardwell had an impact on the youth of Bedford is an understatement,” Town Manager Sarah Stanton said. “He leaves a lasting legacy and has had a lasting impact on the students he’s worked with over the years, and we wish him the very best in retirement.”
Sgt. Wardwell also contributed to many community efforts outside the limelight. For many years he volunteered as a chaperone for the annual eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C.
He is also a huge supporter of Bedford High School athletics, and is known across the Dual County League for blowing an air horn after each Buccaneer touchdown.
“I have known Jeff for a long time. He has been an exemplar for policing and for being a school resource officer,” Chief Bongiorno said. “I am proud to call him a colleague and a friend.”
“I was fortunate to go to a job that I loved every day,” Sgt. Wardwell said. “That I could have a positive impact on students’ lives is a blessing. I thank the students, parents, teachers and administrators who have been a joy to work with.”