Remembering Officer Caputo: 'He’s going to be impossible to replace'

Barrington Police planning special send-off for the late Sgt. Caputo

By Josh Bickford
Posted 9/14/21

Members of the Barrington Police Department say Sergeant Gino Caputo, who died Saturday, Sept. 11 after a five-week battle against Covid-19, was a great police officer, a great friend and a great …

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Remembering Officer Caputo: 'He’s going to be impossible to replace'

Barrington Police planning special send-off for the late Sgt. Caputo

Posted

Members of the Barrington Police Department say Sergeant Gino Caputo, who died Saturday, Sept. 11 after a five-week battle against Covid-19, was a great police officer, a great friend and a great man.

Barrington Police Chief Michael Correia said Sgt. Caputo was a hard-worker who was dedicated to the police department. He worked the midnight shift for many years, serving as an example to the department’s younger officers who are often assigned the overnight shift.

“Sgt. Caputo was a good role model, a good mentor and a good teacher,” Chief Correia said. “He was well-respected… This has really left an emptiness in the department.”

Barrington Police Lt. Kevin Igoe knew Sgt. Caputo very well. Both men were hired by the department on the same day — March 8, 1995 — and they became good friends over the years. 

Lt. Igoe said Sgt. Caputo did so much for the local police department, serving as a training officer and also administering the physical fitness test to officers each year. He said Sgt. Caputo was always willing to work extra shifts and fill many police details.

“He was a workhorse,” Lt. Igoe said. “We could not hire someone who could replace Gino… He’s going to be impossible to replace.”

Lt. Igoe said Sgt. Caputo cared deeply about his religion and was one of the most generous people he has ever known. 

“He was truly the most thoughtful, generous person,” Lt. Igoe said.

Sgt. Caputo’s dedication to his family and his police work were well-known. He rarely missed work, said Lt. Igoe, and never used a sick day. He made it a point to participate in the Rhode Island Special Olympics Torch Run each year.

“He always made time to do it,” Lt. Igoe said.

In late July, Sgt. Caputo became ill and went to the hospital. For about five weeks, members of the Barrington Police Department pulled for Sgt. Caputo to win his battle against Covid-19. They hoped for him to re-emerge from the hospital, and return to the ranks. 

“We were all holding out hope,” Lt. Igoe said. “We were all hoping he would be back, that we’d see him on a detail on Maple Ave.”

On Saturday morning, surrounded by his wife and family, Sgt. Caputo passed away. The news traveled quickly through the department. Officers pulled Sgt. Caputo’s cruiser onto the sidewalk in front of the public safety building and draped it in black cloth. They placed flowers on the hood, and a small crucifix on the dashboard. 

“It’s tough,” Lt. Igoe said. “He should still be here, and he’s not.”

Fellow police officers remember Sgt. Caputo for being physically fit — each year when he took the department’s fitness test, he would score well. Lt. Igoe said the 58-year-old Sgt. Caputo would test out in the 20-to-29 year-old category. He even administered the physical fitness test to officers in other departments.

“He took pride in never being sick, so it’s ironic… even those last days, he took vacation days,” Lt. Igoe said. “I think it was a sense of pride for him. He worked through everything…”

Chief Correia said the Barrington Police Department is planning a special send-off for the late Sgt. Caputo. He said the long-time police officer is very deserving of special acknowledgement, and he expects police officers from across the state will attend and pay their respects.

“I think he appreciated his role. He relished the role,” Chief Correia said. 

The chief expected some people might have questions about Sgt. Caputo’s vaccination status.

“I don’t believe he was vaccinated. However, I support his right to make his own decision,” the chief said.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.