Paul Protzenko, 46, of Enfield, who retired from the state police in 2009, was in Afghanistan training local police officers in crime scene investigation and police tactics.
"He was always looking out for other people," Bellefeuille said.
"I don't think you could find anyone in the state police who would say anything bad about him," said Sgt. Lauren Rondinone, a supervisor at the state police barracks at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, where Protzenko worked at the end of his career.
Protzenko served in the Army for six years before embarking on his more than 22-year career with the state police.
"He was a gentleman, a guy who dedicated his life to the service of his country and service to his state," Rondinone said.
Protzenko, married and a father of three, was employed by Military Professional Resources Inc., a firm that does training and security work for the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army, among other clients.