January 18, 2022

Three Wilton police officers leave after DA’s critical letter

WILTON – The Wilton Police Department’s poor performance “created a dangerous community atmosphere” that failed to protect victims and empowered domestic abusers, District Attorney Norman R. Croteau said.

Croteau’s letter to Wilton Town Manager Peter Nielsen explaining his office’s reasons for pulling Wilton police away from crimes involving juveniles was released after a Freedom of Access Act request by the Morning Sentinel newspaper.

Croteau and two of his assistants wrote that poor investigations were a continuing pattern with the department.

The letter started a chain of events that led to the resignations and retirement of Wilton’s three full-time police officers last Friday.

Croteau said he was alarmed that his office received only eight Wilton cases between Oct. 1, 2006, and Jan. 1, 2007. Only three of those were domestic incidents despite the fact that the department received 19 reports of domestic disputes.

He cited a case in which a Wilton police officer heard that a 28-year-old man was having sex with and providing marijuana to a 15-year-old girl.

The officer wrote down the allegations, but dropped the matter. It later was revived by Wilton Police Chief Dennis Brown.

Croteau said he has faith in Brown, but concerns about the department in general. His letter named Officers Edward Leahy, Terry Warren and Robert Cole Jr., each of whom either retired or resigned.

“We continue to believe that crimes go uninvestigated and unreported to our office,” he wrote.

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