While his post-retirement plans are still undecided, New Canaan Police Chief Ed Nadriczny may be trading in his badge for a blackboard.

"I'm going to enjoy some time off and then maybe look at getting in to work at some point in the future," he said in an interview, adding, "I obtained my teaching degree, and I had always thought that I'd like to teach in some law enforcement capacity. I might dust my resume off and see where I can go with it."

After 36 years with the New Canaan Police Department, and nearly eight years as its chief, Nadriczny announced his plans to retire in a letter sent to First Selectman Robert Mallozzi on Friday, April 5.

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"I feel extremely fortunate that I have been able to serve the New Canaan community for so long and have had the opportunity to work with so many good people," Nadriczny wrote in his letter.

No date has been set for his retirement; he's requested that the Police Commission and town administration work out a timeline for the transition.

"I have always admired his professionalism and sense of community," Mallozzi said in a news release.

"I wish Ed all the best in his retirement. New Canaan was fortunate to have such a dedicated gentleman serve our community."

Nadriczny began on the force at the age of 22 and worked his way up to sergeant, lieutenant, and then chief.

He had attended Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher, but in the poor economy of 1975 and 1976 there was a glut of teachers and he couldn't land a job. A friend of his on the police force asked him if he'd like to apply for that, so he took the test and after a while got a job in New Canaan.

On New Year's Eve 1977, Nadriczny was a rookie officer on patrol.

"I was working the night shift," Nadriczny said. "A driver was intoxicated and I pulled him over on 123. The driver started getting out and I was saying, `Get back in the car.' As he did that, a gun fell out of his pocket and onto the pavement, and I thought, `What am I getting into?' It turned out it was not loaded. People think nothing can happen in New Canaan, but that was my first experience to never let down your guard."

Another memorable case came when Nadriczny first started in the detective bureau.

It was Christmas time, and there were reports coming in to the dispatcher that an elderly couple was making small purchases with counterfeit $100 bills in stores downtown and getting the change in real money.

"I thought I'd probably park in a municipal parking lot and look for them," the chief said.

"I pulled into the Locust lot and I saw an older male, just as described. I parked my unmarked car where I could see him and sure enough his female accomplice came in and we made the arrest and seized a couple thousand in counterfeit and a couple hundred dollars in real money."

Now 58, the chief said the decision to retire was a difficult one.

"One needs to continually evaluate their professional status and where they are in their working career," Nadriczny said in his letter. "Recently, I have been contemplating my 36-year career in law enforcement and have decided that both on a professional and personal basis the time is right for me to announce my intended retirement from the New Canaan Police Department. I have consulted with my family and they unanimously support my decision."

Nadriczny noted that most of the former classmates in his 1977 police academy class are out of the field now, retired. He will be the next one to join them.

twoods@bcnnew.com; 203-972-4413; @Woods_NCNews