Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Local News

Police Honor Daughter of Late Sgt. Manner at North Branford Graduation

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North Branford and Branford police department members in uniform pay tribute to Kaila Manner, daughter of the late Sgt. Christopher Manner, as she graduated with the NBHS Class of 2021. 

Pam Johnson/The Sound

North Branford and Branford police department members in uniform pay tribute to Kaila Manner, daughter of the late Sgt. Christopher Manner, as she graduated with the NBHS Class of 2021. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

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As members of the NBHS Class of 2021 were called up to receive their diplomas, a long line of North Branford and Branford police department members in uniform entered the field in preparation to support Kaila Manner, daughter of the late Sgt. Chris Manner.

Pam Johnson/The Sound

As members of the NBHS Class of 2021 were called up to receive their diplomas, a long line of North Branford and Branford police department members in uniform entered the field in preparation to support Kaila Manner, daughter of the late Sgt. Chris Manner. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

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Kaila Manner gets a hug from her mom as her brother, holding a picture of their dad, awaits. 

Pam Johnson/The Sound

Kaila Manner gets a hug from her mom as her brother, holding a picture of their dad, awaits. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

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North Branford Chief of Police Kevin Halloran hugs Kaila Manner as part of the receiving line there to support her on graduation day. 

Pam Johnson/The Sound

North Branford Chief of Police Kevin Halloran hugs Kaila Manner as part of the receiving line there to support her on graduation day. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

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North Branford and Branford police department members in uniform pay tribute to Kaila Manner, daughter of the late Sgt. Christopher Manner, as she graduated with the NBHS Class of 2021. 

Pam Johnson/The Sound

North Branford and Branford police department members in uniform pay tribute to Kaila Manner, daughter of the late Sgt. Christopher Manner, as she graduated with the NBHS Class of 2021. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

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Members of Kaila Manner's family hold hands as she approaches them as part of an emotional and supportive surprise appearance on the North Branford High School field with members of the North Branford and Branford police departments.

Pam Johnson/The Sound

Members of Kaila Manner's family hold hands as she approaches them as part of an emotional and supportive surprise appearance on the North Branford High School field with members of the North Branford and Branford police departments. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

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Extended family members of the late Sgt. Chris Manner hold white roses or purple carnations (while small supporters hold posters) and watch as Manner's daughter, Kaila makes her way along the receiving line there to support her on graduation night at North Branford High School on June 14. 

Pam Johnson/The Sound

Extended family members of the late Sgt. Chris Manner hold white roses or purple carnations (while small supporters hold posters) and watch as Manner's daughter, Kaila makes her way along the receiving line there to support her on graduation night at North Branford High School on June 14. (Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound)

A heartfelt tribute to the life and legacy of the late, long-serving police veteran Christopher Manner was shared with his daughter, Kaila Manner, as a graduation surprise on the North Branford High School (NBHS) field on Monday, June 14.

As members of the NBHS Class of 2021 were called up to receive their diplomas, a long line of North Branford and Branford police department members in uniform entered the field ahead of the moment when Manner was to cross the stage and stood by, ready to congratulate her upon her graduation on behalf of their friend and her dad.

Chris Manner, who passed away in September, 2020, served as a North Branford Police Department (NBPD) Sergeant with 25 years on the force before retiring in 2011. In 2012, he returned to community policing as an officer of the Branford Police Department for eight years, where he served as a mentor to many. The true definition of a community police officer, Manner was also a longtime coach of several intermediate and high school level sports in both towns. On the day of his funeral, members of both police departments together with first responders and many community members lined the roadway outside of the North Branford Police Department to pay tribute as Manner's funeral cortege passed by.

"He passed away this past year as a result of having cancer -- he was a young man, 56 years old -- and Kaila graduated high school this year, so we wanted to pay tribute to her," NBPD Detective Rob Deko told Zip06/The Sound.

Surprise and gratitude was evident on Kaila Manner's face as she made her way past the line of officers and department members there to show their support, together with members of the Manner family. As she stopped to greet each officer and department member, they presented her with a white rose or purple carnation, building a bouquet in the school's colors as she collected them, together with congratulations and many hugs along the way, including one from NBPD Chief of Police Kevin Halloran.

"We asked folks that wanted to volunteer their time to come out here from the North Branford and the Branford police departments, and each individual passed her a rose or a carnation," said Deko, who organized the tribute. "Some of us had our families involved, we had our kids holding signs and little poster boards for her."

Deko said the tribute was a surprise for Manner.

"It was a surprise for her. Her mom knew, and Sgt. Manner's brother knew; and they were very happy and honored."

The biggest hug for Manner came from mom Lisa Douglas, waiting at the end of the receiving line with Manner's brother, Ashton, who held a framed portrait of their dad.

"It was beautiful. Thank you, all of you," an emotional Douglas told the officers afterwards.







Pam Johnson covers news for Branford and North Branford for Zip06. Email Pam at p.johnson@shorepublishing.com.

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