Robert Sanborn Sr. is stepping down as chief of the Winthrop Auxiliary Police after 38 years of service in the volunteer department.
The Town Council honored Sanborn with a special citation at its meeting Tuesday night. Council President Peter Gill made the presentation at the outset of the meeting.
“It gives me a great deal of pleasure to recognize Chief Sanborn,” said Gill. “On behalf of the residents of the town of Winthrop we extend our most sincere congratulations and thanks and offer our best wishes to you in all your future endeavors.”
Sanborn, 71, joined the Auxiliary Police in September, 1974, and was appointed chief of the Auxiliary in 1981, beginning a stretch of 32 years as its leader. “A friend of mine, Jack Kelly, got me involved and it’s been a part of my life ever since.”
Sanborn retired in May, 2011, from his job as an executive driver for Boston Coach.
Sanborn said he will miss his service in the Auxiliary Police. “Like Mayor Menino said the other day, ‘I’m leaving a job I really love.’ “But it was my time to step down and let somebody else run it.”
Sanborn said he once thought about joining the Winthrop Police Department. “But by the time I got interested in it, I was two years over the age limit back in those days. I think the age limit for applying for 32 and I was 34. Otherwise I probably would have been on the regular police department.”
Police Chief Terence Delehanty, who began his career as a radio operator in the Auxiliary, offered his congratulations to Sanborn.
“Thirty-eight years of service as a volunteer for this community is unheard of,” said Delehanty. “We owe you a great debt of gratitude and appreciation for your dedication over the years and to your family for the time that you’ve taken away from them to volunteer for our services. Your leadership has been tremendous and the Police have cemented a great relationship with the Auxiliary and your assistance has been invaluable at particular times of the year such as the third and fourth of July and many other times throughout the year.”
Deputy Auxiliary Chief Christopher Hall, who is line to be the next Auxiliary Chief, also thanked Sanborn for setting a great example for auxiliary police officers and congratulated him for his 38 years of distinguished and loyal service to the organization.