Longtime Manchester Police Officer dies from COVID-19 in Florida

Gary Tibbetts

Long-time Manchester Police Officer Gary Tibbetts died Friday at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Fla., from COVID-19.

He was the son of former State House Bureau Chief for the Union Leader Donn Tibbetts and Jane Tibbetts.

Gary Tibbetts was 66 years old and retired as a sergeant from the Manchester Police Department in June 1999 having served for 22 years and nine months.

Manchester Chief of Police Carlo Capano on Friday recalled Tibbetts, his first supervisor, as kind and fair.

“I had the pleasure of working for Gary, who was Sgt. Tibbetts to me.  He was a kind and fair man. He dedicated 22½ years of his life to our great City.  I met Sgt. Tibbetts in 1996 while working the midnight shift. He was my first supervisor.  Gary was an incredibly generous man, and so proud to be a Manchester Police Officer,” Capano said.  “The Manchester Police Department lost part of our family with Gary’s passing. We will miss him.”

Tibbetts moved to Florida where he worked as Special Assistant, Law Enforcement Coordinator and Field Representative in Manatee County for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan for 12 years.

Writing on Facebook, Buchanan said, “Devastated by the death of my longtime staffer Gary Tibbetts, who passed away today at Manatee Memorial Hospital from COVID-19.

“Gary was the consummate professional and a true public servant in every sense of the word. He touched so many lives and was loved and respected by those who knew him. I will never forget his uplifting spirit, sense of humor and sheer joy at helping others. Sandy and I offer our deepest sympathies to his wife, Valerie and family. He will be missed greatly,” Buchanan wrote.

Carol Robidoux contributed to this story.