The Wellesley Police Department regrets to announce the death of retired Wellesley Police Officer Richard “Richie” Howard on November 28, 2022. He was 73 years old.
Officer Howard was appointed to the Wellesley Police Department in June of 1980. Prior to joining the department, he graduated from Wellesley High School, and Norwich University. Officer Howard served in the United States Army as a Lieutenant for three years, being deployed to Germany. He retired from the Wellesley Police Department in October of 2002. However, he still continued to work in Wellesley, both on Wellesley Police traffic details and at Babson College for several years.
Officer Howard, or “Richie” as he was more commonly known, was the ‘community police officer’ before the term became well known in the field. Richie knew everyone in Wellesley, and everyone knew him. More than a few rookie police officers making traffic stops around town in the 1990’s were greeted with a motorist saying, “I know Richie Howard.” Speaking of young officers, Richie knew many of us growing up, and took care of us as we navigated through life and Wellesley High School. He then welcomed us to the department and the job when we were appointed as police officers.
Richie was extremely active, and enjoyed being on the bike patrol. He could often be found riding the bike (in all types of weather) in Wellesley Square or on Linden Street. He cared very much for Wellesley, and was very compassionate with those in crisis. He often had timely and sage advice for new officers, as well as young sergeants, on how to handle situations. When officers found themselves in over their heads in situations and called for help, Richie was always the first to arrive.
Of considerable note, Richie received the Hannah Award for Bravery. This award is one of the most prestigious awards that a police officer can receive in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Officer Howard received the award after he disarmed a suspect armed with a knife on Washington Street in the early morning hours. Officer Howard was walking home from his shift at the time when he was confronted by the suspect.
To say Richie was an avid golfer would be a gross understatement of epic proportions. Richie would think nothing of playing 18 to 36 holes of golf prior to starting his shift at 4PM, and if he was playing behind you, it was best to let him play through. He was often sought out when there was a tournament to play and seemed to know every golf course in metropolitan Boston area. He loved to compete!
The Wellesley Police Department offers our sincerest condolences and sympathy to the entire Howard family.
The wake and funeral arrangements for Officer Howard can be found here: https://burkefamilyfuneralhomes.com/book-of-memories/5081959/Howard-Richard/index.php