Celebrating Hingham Police Traffic Sgt. Robert Mansfield's retirement Tuesday at a gathering at the police department are left to right, his daughter Jennifer Davenport; his wife, Maureen; Mansfield with his granddaughter Callahan in front of him taking in the whole scene; his daughter Gillian and her husband, Nate Jollin, holding their daughter Madelyn; and family friend Chris DiNapoli, a fire marshal with Hingham Fire Department.
February 6, 2019 by Carol Britton Meyer
Hingham Police Chief Glenn Olsson and other fellow officers will miss Traffic Sgt. Robert "Bob" Mansfield, a well-respected member of HPD and the community. A crowd gathered to wish him a happy retirement after nearly 40 years -- 38-1/2 to be exact! -- with the Hingham Police Department at his farewell party in the Squad Room Tuesday. Olsson presented Mansfield with a HPD retirement badge, and fellow officers shared fond remembrances of their time working with him. "He always has a smile on his face," said Lt. David Petitti. Mansfield said he has "loved every day I've been in this job. I'll miss it, but it is time to leave. My wife, Maureen, and I love to travel. She's my rock!" and of course he wishes to spend more time with his grandchildren, too. "I also have a lot of projects I'm looking forward to working on. I'm going to have a good time!"
Mansfield started as a call fire man when he was 17 years old, Olsson recalled. He also worked for the Highway Department. "He and I attended the Fall River Police Academy in Sept. 1980," Olsson said. "There were ten of us, and we actually were victims of the only lay-off I think Hingham ever had." Proposition 2 1/2 took effect so they were temporarily laid off after they started working at HPD but resumed their duties following a brief delay in getting their careers off the ground. Olsson said he and Mansfield were fortunate that then-Sgt. Joseph McCracken "had a lot of faith in us and assigned us to a two-man car in South Hingham. It was a world ruled by seniority so I was very grateful we got that opportunity. It was a valuable experience for us both, and we always encouraged young officers to be proactive."
Mansfield was one of the first of the group of officers he attended the Police Academy with to serve in the Traffic Division. "Traffic enforcement was a niche for Bob," Olsson said. "He was a fixture on George Washington Boulevard so his nickname became 'Boulevard Bob.' We always joked that the residents of Hull would celebrate the day he retired."
Eventually Mansfield became a detective -- serving 14-1/2 years in that division -- and then a sergeant, which pleased Olsson because it was a department of young officers and Mansfield shared with them his experiences and his love for the Traffic Division.
Mansfield finished his career as the Traffic Sergeant supervising the Traffic Division. "I could not think of a better spot for him," Olsson said. "Bob was always a hard worker and respected by all his fellow officers. I will miss him, that's for sure. We shared so many experiences together. "Everyday on the job has been a good one, Mansfield said. "I don't have a single regret. If everyone who joins HPD could love the job as much as I did, they would have successful careers."
Last Christmas the Hingham Police Association hosted a children's party. "Bob was there with his daughter and grandkids, and I was there with my sons and grandchildren. I looked over at Bob and said, 'We have come full circle.' I wish him all the best. I'm a little bit envious!"
Hingham Selectman Chairman Paul Healey, a former Hingham Police officer -- along with Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Asst. Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur -- were also onhand to bid Mansfield farewell. "Bob and I worked together for many years on the 12 to 8 a.m. shift," Healey recalled. "We were both original members of the traffic unit that was established to reduce accidents in town. My time with Bob was a great experience. I could always count on him. He was reliable and dedicated to serving the town and the department. He has served his community well. It was a pleasure to promote him to sergeant [while serving as a selectman],and I wish him well in his well-deserved and hard-earned retirement."
But Mansfield isn't leaving HPD altogether. Effective Feb. 11 he will serve as a special police officer, providing assistance during public events such as the Fourth of July fireworks and parade, the annual Christmas in the Square event hosted by the Hingham Downtown Association, traffic detail during road work, and other responsibilities. "I'm looking forward to doing details," Mansfield said.
"Bob is one of those people everyone in town recognizes," Olsson said."Everyone needs to see a friendly face."