West Haven native and Greenwich Police Officer Justin Romolo Quagliani, 38, died suddenly Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019. Hundreds of mourners attend his funeral mass. After the funeral services at St. Michael’s Church, a long motorcade of more than 60 motorcyclists from around the region escorted the procession so St. John’s Cemetery in Darian for his burial.
Quagliani was born in New Haven and was raised in West Haven. He attended Alma Pagels Elementary School and Harry Bailey Middle School. His uncle, Ronald Quagliani, is the former police chief of West Haven.
His aunt, Christine Quagliani, said the deceased officer had a physically imposing presence, “but he was a teddy bear on the inside.”
Quagliani, a graduate of Stamford High School, was a body-builder and had won regional awards in the sport. Quagliani joined the Greenwich police in late 2015. According to the department, his personnel file contains numerous letters from citizens commending him on his performance and service to the community. In 2019, he received a commendation for saving the life of a resident by performing CPR.
He was a graduate of the University of Phoenix and also served in the U.S. Army Reserve for 10 years as a military police sergeant in Iraq and Kuwait, where his duties involved transporting detainees. He received numerous awards and certifications during his tenure in the reserves.
In the Greenwich Police Department, Quagliani was an instructor in defensive tactics, teaching proper techniques for arrests.
“He was well liked,” said Lt. John Slusarz. “He had a lot of friends in the department.”
Quagliani suffered a medical emergency at his Greenwich residence while off-duty at about 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to the department.
“Police and Greenwich Emergency Medical Service personnel responded to his residence, attempted lifesaving efforts and then transported him to Greenwich Hospital, where he was eventually declared deceased,” the department said.
First Selectman Fred Camillo expressed his condolences.
“During the four years he has served the Greenwich Police Department, Officer Justin Quagliani continuously demonstrated that he possessed the qualities and the abilities to be an asset not only to the department but to the entire Greenwich community,”
Camillo said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with his family and his police brothers and sisters who mourn his sudden passing.”
After taking his oath of office in 2015, Quagliani said of becoming a police officer, “I’m ecstatic. It’s been a dream of mine for so long.”
The Rev. Thomas Nin, a police chaplin, eulogized Quagliani as a high motivated officer who always strove to me the highest professional standards.
In February, Quagliani earned a citation for a medical rescue. He was sent to a residence where a woman was unconscious on Jan. 25, and he performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until paramedics arrived and took over. She was later taken to the hospital and recovered.
Quagliani leaves behind his wife, Mia Quagliani and his daughter, Nadia Quagliani, 3, of Stamford. Also his brothers, Ray F. Quagliani, III (Vicki) of New Hampshire; Christopher M. Quagliani (Jennifer) of West Haven; Nicholas Quagliani (Natalie) of Milford; Mario R. Quagliani (Jo-Ann) of Milford; his sister, Ericka D. Quagliani, of California.
He is also survived by his father, Raymond Quagliani, Jr. of West Haven and his step-mother Doris J. Quagliani of West Haven.
He also leaves behind several nieces and nephews and hundreds of fellow Greenwich Police Officers and friends.