NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — NYPD Det. Sgt. Daniel Chiarantano said goodbye to the force Friday, after a 35-year career that included time with the cold case unit.
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon spoke with Chiarantano about some of the highs and lows of his storied career.READ MORE: Federal Arrest Warrant Issued For Gabby Petito's Missing Fiancé Brian Laundrie
Saturday is Chiarantano’s 63rd birthday. He retired just one day before the NYPD mandates officers must do so.
“Take it to the end,” he said. “I enjoy working these cases.”
Chiarantano started his career in the 1980s as an eager rookie hoping to make a change in his community.
Over the years, the role progressed. Increased training and advances in DNA technology led to some of the biggest changes, but Chiarantano’s passion for the job stayed the same.
“You try to go into work learning something new every day,” he said.
Over the years, Chiarantano was involved in or helped solve many high-profile cases.
The longtime detective said providing families with closure has been the most rewarding part of the job.READ MORE: 'I Can't Take This Anymore': Heavy Rain In Tri-State Area Renews Flooding Concerns For Many Still Dealing With Damage From Ida
“It’s very uplifting and, you know, the families, they are overjoyed,” said Chiarantano.
Despite the successes, there are unsolved cases that continue to haunt him.
They include that of murdered off-duty officer Robert Bolden in 1971 and the murder of Tino Decorato, a 22-year-old who was killed while working at a store in Brooklyn in 2004.
“I’ve met with the family and your heart breaks,” Chiarantano said.
Still, the detective says as challenging as the job can be, he loved making a difference.
He has a message to rookie cops who dream of being investigators: All the hard work is worth it.
“Try to learn something new every day. Stay safe, back up you partner and try to keep a clear mind,” he said.
Chiarantano said he hasn’t figured out exactly what to do in retirement. But he’ll always be a cop at heart.MORE NEWS: 1 Killed, 13 Injured In Shooting At Kroger In Collierville, Tennessee
CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon contributed to this report.