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 through June 1977
  • William Wabuda
    July 1977 through June 1981
  • Roy Hoffman
    July 1981 through February 1989
  • James Watson
    March 1989 through August 2000
  • Paul Scirpo
    September 2000 through August 2009
  • Neil O'Leary
    September 2009 through December 2010
  • Edward Stephens
    December 2010 through the 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 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 for the project, and on September 5, 1989, a groundbreaking 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 well-being of our citizens, staff and criminal offenders.