Wilton Police Grow Beards to Raise Funds, Awareness for Mens’ Health

Something about Wilton’s police officers looks a little different.

It might just be the facial hair. While Wilton police typically have to be clean-shaven, the Wilton Police Commission and police chief Robert Crosby provisionally approved lifting restrictions of facial hair for Wilton officers, in the spirit of fundraising for needy causes. Officers who participate in the fundraiser “Movember” to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as depression in men, prostate cancer and other male cancers, were allowed to grow their facial hair.

Officers will donate funds to St. Vincent’s SWIM Across the Sound, a charitable, grass roots organization run by St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation. Since 1987, the SWIM has a unique niche, providing cancer education, screening, and prevention programs at low- or no-cost for the underinsured and uninsured. In addition, the SWIM helps individual cancer patients on a case-by-case basis with specific needs, such as the funding of wigs and prostheses, medication assistance, free transportation to treatments and appointments, day-care scholarships and support groups. Officers will be allowed to grow facial hair if they donate $50.00 per month.

Movember is an international effort dedicated to raise awareness and funds for a variety of health related causes that men face.

Pictured above (L to R): Ofc. Frank Razzaia; Ofc. Steve Zawacki; Ofc. Robert Smaldone; Lt. Robert Cipolla; SRO Richard Ross; Ofc. Eric Patenaude; and Sgt. David Hartman.

Wilton Police Officer Tornello Cited as Traffic Safety Hero, and Department Given Award by AAA

wilton pd AAA award

AAA Northeast recently honored the Wilton Police Department with a Silver Award for the department’s traffic safety programs, including active child passenger safety, drunk driving distracted driving, and speed enforcement; and a junior health/freshman seminar on impaired driving, among other initiatives.

In addition, AAA honored Ofc. Anna Tornello for her community traffic safety efforts. In 2014, she targeted impaired and distracted drivers, making 12 DUI arrests and more than 326 motor vehicle stops targeting cellphone, speeding and seatbelt violations that place motorists in jeopardy.

At AAA’s 6th Annual Community Traffic Safety Awards, public affairs manager Fran Mayko, right, presented the awards to Tornello, left, and Lt. Robert Kluk (center).

Wilton Fire Department Promotes Four Firefighters

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the Wilton Fire Department promoted the following firefighters:

Brian Elliott, to Captain:  Elliott started his career with the Wilton Fire Dept. 11 years ago. He also served as a volunteer firefighter for eight years with the Southington Fire Dept., where he held the rank of Lieutenant for three of those years. Elliot previously had been sworn in as a Lieutenant for Wilton’s Department only this past July.

Jim Blanchfield, to Captain:  Blanchfield has eight years of service with Wilton’s Fire Department, and is also a certified rescue diver and safety officer. He is an instructor for the Fairfield Regional Fire School. Blanchfield also made Lieutenant in July.

William Sampson, to Lieutenant:   Sampson joined the Wilton Fire Department in 2003 after a 20-year career as an aerospace field service engineer. Among other things, he is a certified EMT, rescue technician and incident scene safety officer. Sampson also serves as an instructor at the CT Fire Academy in the recruit program.

William Wilson, to Lieutenant:  Wilson joined the Wilton Fire Department in 2005; he served the Trumbull Center Volunteer Fire Department from 1999 to 2007. Among his awards is a Jan. 2009 commendation ribbon for a motor vehicle accident where he “performed life saving procedures and [was] professional and expeditious despite weather, terrain, and other poor conditions.” That same year, Wilton was part of a team awarded a Unit Citation for their work at a fire at Village Walk condos.