Police Chief Gary MacNamara was a few minutes late for the Board of Selectmen meeting Wednesday.

MacNamara was unaware, however, that an issue personally concerning himself was on the selectmen's agenda: His selection as Fairfield's "Employee of the Year" for 2012.

"Timeliness is not that on list" of criteria used to choose the honoree, quipped First Selectman Michael Tetreau. "On the other hand, at least we know he's not speeding."

Joining MacNamara for the annual civic honors program was the family of Dr. George Lacovara, who was named "Fairfielder of the Year."

The ceremony Wednesday afternoon marked the ninth year the Board of Selectmen has bestowed the honors recognizing community-minded citizens and dedicated municipal employees.

MacNamara was nominated by Deborah Greenwood, the president and CEO for the Center for Women and Families.

"I'm humbled," said MacNamara, adding that fellow officers make him look good at his job. He cited of one of his officers who had just delivered a teddy bear to a student who was at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, the site last week of a mass shooting that claimed 26 lives. "One of our officers was with him seconds after the shooting," MacNamara said, and the child had worried about his teddy bear that was left behind amid the tragedy's chaos. The officer, MacNamara said, made sure to recover and then deliver that teddy bear to the boy.

"That's the kind of employee I work for," the police chief said. "I work for them." And in a way, he said, the selection committee picked the wrong guy.

Greenwood nominated MacNamara for taking a lead role here and throughout the state in efforts to prevent domestic and sexual violence, including bringing the center's services to Fairfield.

Lacovara, a retired dentist, could not attend the meeting because of illness, but his wife, Joan, his children and grandchildren, were there to accept the civic honor.

A member of the town's Ethics Commission and a former member of the Police Commission, Lacovara also served on the Board of Health, was a director of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Fairfield Kiwanis Club. He chaired the Jacky Durrell Memorial Committee that rededicated Penfield Pavilion II in the former first selectman's honor and is a eucharistic minister at St. Pius X Church.

Over the years, Lacovara has been selected as the Outstanding Alumnus from the Columbia University School of Dentistry, the Dentist of the Year award from the Bridgeport Dental Association, the Chamber of Commerce Harold Harris Leadership Award, the Connecticut Secretary of the State Public Service Award and the Gerry Malafronte Community Service Award.

Janet Canepa, director of alumni relations at Fairfield University, nominated Lacovara and said she "couldn't think of a better individual to hold up as a example, a role model." He is, she said, "truly a man of faith, family, friends and all things Fairfield."