the westminster news
Published by the students of Westminster School
By Trent Jones ’25
As the Westminster population wakes up and gets ready for the day, the last thing we think about is danger. This is in large part thanks to the work of our security team. Mr. John Durkin, a member of the team, helps keep all of us safe and secure. Over a 35-year career in law enforcement, most of which was spent at the Simsbury Police Department and the Mashantucket Police Department, Mr. Durkin has impressive experience in safety and security.
Mr. Durkin was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, where, as a youth, he found enjoyment playing football with friends after school and cheering on his beloved Boston Red Sox. When he was 12, he read “The Blue Knight” by Joseph Wambaugh, which lit the spark that ultimately became a law enforcement career. The book drew Mr. Durkin’s attention away from the Red Sox and backyard football and replaced it with the idea that law enforcement can offer a life of purpose.
This conviction never faded, and Mr. Durkin eventually became a part of the Simsbury police department. Mr. Durkin enjoyed the “close community” mentality that the town of Simsbury upheld. He said the community of Simsbury is similar to that of Westminster, close-knit and cozy. Mr. Durkin stayed with the Simsbury Police Department for the majority of his professional career before moving into a faster-paced environment at the Mashantucket Police Department. Remarkably, Mr. Durkin accepted the night shift and drove in every evening from the Simsbury area. Every night that he was on duty, he would drive into the town of Ledyard, Connecticut, preparing himself for the coming 10-hour shift by getting energized with a steady stream of 80s rock blasting from the car radio. By the time he arrived at the police station and saw his partners, he was ready for whatever mysteries the night had in store. Mr. Durkin loved his time as a police officer and said, “It was the greatest show on earth, and I had a front-row seat.”
Given his experiences, I asked Mr. Durkin if he had any advice for the Westminster student body. He looked up, and remarked, “These are some of the best years of your life. Study and work hard, sure, but remember to have fun, and most importantly, treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Please, feel encouraged to say a friendly hello and thank you to Mr. Durkin as you cross him on campus. Appreciate that as you stay on Williams Hill, as you may have many worries throughout your time here, but danger isn’t high on that list.