November 28, 2012

Wilton police chief says repeat offenders town's biggest issue

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WILTON -- Police Chief Heidi Wilcox said one of the biggest issues her department has is repeat offenders for crimes such as copper theft, domestic violence and those that are drug-related.

Wilcox, speaking Wednesday night to the Wilton Group, also said the department has sought grants and made an effort to be more proactive since she took over last October.

Wilcox took questions from a 20-person group at Calzolaio Pasta Co.

Last year the department received more than $50,000 in grants, mostly for new software for the police station but also for updated weapons, digital recording equipment and officers on bicycle patrol. She said she tries to use grants for both one-time and ongoing expenses.

"We try to use grants to supplement and make ends meet," Wilcox said.

She said the police department has been trying to use technology more. "The world is digital and we need to be open to that."

One example she gave was the department's increasing use of social media.

"Interestingly enough we've begun recently receiving complaints via Facebook," she said.

Wilcox said she was hoping to get money to get a response vehicle with four-wheel drive.

"We are the only police department in the region that I know of that does not have one," she said.

She said she is hoping to have more chances like Wednesday night's meeting to receive feedback, and is considering having a community feedback survey and a yearly open house at the department.

The department, she said, is trying to be increasingly aware of continuing issues in town.

"If it affects community members, it darn sure better be an issue addressed by the police department," she said.

The presentation was part of a series of community forums hosted by the Wilton Group, which was formed in 2006 to promote the town's development and community engagement.

Kaitlin Schroeder -- 861-9252
kschroeder@mainetoday.com

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