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Wolcott Police History

The Wolcott Police Department as a full time Law Enforcement agency was created by an act of the General Assembly in July 1937. Prior to that time the town had been policed by constables. The act provided for the appointment of a three member Board of Police Commissioners charged with the responsibility of the general management and control of the Police Department. The first Commissioners were Martin J. Whalen, Layton Rose, and Frank Kreger. In 1959, the act was amended to increase the board’s membership to five.

An act establishing the offices of Chief of Police and other Ranking Officers was passed by the State Legislature in May of 1957.

Wolcott’s Chiefs:

  • George C. Ranslow: November 1958 – June 1977
  • William Wabuda: July 1977 – June 1981
  • Roy Hoffman: July 1981 – February 1989
  • James Watson: March 1989 – August 2000
  • Paul Scirpo: September 2000 – August 2009
  • Neil O’Leary: September 2009 – December 2010
  • Edward Stephens: December 2010 – present

The original location of the Wolcott Police Department was in the building that now houses the offices of the Superintendent of Schools located on Center Street. In 1958, the Police Department moved to the first floor of the Wolcott Town Hall where it occupied three rooms. In 1966, it was moved to another location, the two room Woodtick School House located at 225 Nichols Road. A special town meeting authorized the remodeling of this building which was to become the town’s new Police Station. The total cost of this project was less than $7,000.00 which was appropriated for the project.

The Woodtick School served as the town’s Police Station until 1990. During that time more renovations took place and there was some expansion as the town grew and the police department grew.

In 1987, then Chief of Police Roy Hoffman approached the Town Council and Mayor Edward S. Wilensky requesting that a new Police facility be built for the Town of Wolcott. The Old Woodtick School, which had 3,700 square feet of space, could no longer accommodate the growing department. It was simply bursting at the seams.

On November 8, 1988 a town referendum was held so the citizens of Wolcott could vote on a proposed new Public Safety Facility. The outcome of the referendum showed public support of the project, and on September 5, 1989 ground breaking for the new Public Safety Facility took place directly behind the old Woodtick School.

Approximately one year later, on October 15, 1990, the new facility was completed and the Wolcott Police Department is now a 13,500 square foot building.

The Public Safety Facility also houses the offices of the Municipal Animal Control Officer, Fire Marshal, Fire Chief, Civil Preparedness and Local Emergency Planning Commission. This facility is expected to serve the needs of the Town of Wolcott for the next quarter century and puts the Town of Wolcott in compliance with State and Federal guidelines for handicapped accessibility, storage of evidence and records and security measures to protect the wellbeing of our citizens, staff and criminal offenders.

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