Shelton police mourn ‘sudden’ death of officer, 41

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — A member of the city’s police department died suddenly while off-duty on Thursday, officials said.

Shelton Police Lt. Robert Kozlowsky confirmed Officer Jesse Butwell, 41, of Naugatuck, died at Waterbury Hospital. Kozlowsky did not provide further details aside from saying Butwell’s death was “sudden.”

“It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Officer Jesse Butwell,” Shelton police wrote on Facebook. “Condolences to his parents and family.”

Police Chief Shawn Sequeira said Butwell was dedicated to his job and serving his community.

“He was a natural leader and had a great relationship with all the officers,” Sequeira said. “Beyond being an exceptional police officer he was also recognized for his expertise as a firearms instructor and was our training officer that had a direct impact on each officer.

“He will be dearly missed and never forgotten as our brother police officer. Our condolences to his parents, fiancé, family, and all those who knew him,” Sequeira added.

Butwell, a firearms instructor, loved the outdoors, Kozlowsky said, adding that he was an avid fisherman and enjoyed hiking.

“Jesse was a dedicated officer who had a positive attitude and cared for others,” Kozlowsky said. “More importantly, he developed close friendships with many of his coworkers and was well-liked by all members of the department.

“He was always willing to help his fellow employees,” Kozlowsky added. “This was one of the reasons he was selected as the training officer.”

Butwell was credited with saving a life in March 2019. Days after receiving training on the use of Narcan, which reverses the effects of a drug overdose, Butwell was able to put the lessons into practice.

Kozlowsky said Butwell was one of the officers called to a one-car accident on Shelton Avenue and Meadow Street on March 16, 2019.

“The officers found the male driver unconscious so they used the Narcan,” Kozlowsky said. “Based on the investigation at the scene, it appeared [the driver] may be overdosing, so the officer (Butwell) used the Narcan. (The driver) appeared to wake up. It worked, and he was sent to the hospital.”