October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
In recognition, the Wilton Police Benevolent Association (PBA) will be raising funds to support the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (DVCC) in Stamford and Norwalk, which serves Wilton, Norwalk, Stamford, Darien, Weston, New Canaan
and Westport.
Donation bins will be set up at several local businesses.
“We’re working on exactly what businesses,” said Sgt. Rob Cipolla with the Wilton Police Department (WPD) and the Wilton Domestic Violence Task Force, “but I think the Village Market will be one
for sure.”
Contributions may also be made online at JustGive.org/WiltonPBA.
The Wilton PBA will also  host the “Ride to End Domestic Violence,” a charitable one-hour spinning class at the JoyRide Wilton cycling studio on Thursday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m.
A minimum donation of $35 is required to book a bike, and all funds raised will benefit the DVCC’s mission to end domestic violence.
Bikes may be registered at JoyRideStudio.com/Wilton/Events. Donations in the form of cash or check will be collected at the door on the night of the event.
At the present time, four bikes have been reserved and 32 remain open, Cipolla said. Cipolla also pledged to ride himself and is currently convincing some of his fellow officers to as well.

Awareness


Raising funds is only half the battle. The other half is getting the word out. To spread awareness, Wilton officers will be wearing purple ribbon pins on their uniforms for the entire month of October. Purple is the official color of domestic violence awareness.

Furthermore, members of the Domestic Violence Task Force and Wilton High School’s PeaceWorks program will symbolize each incident of domestic violence that has happened since Oct. 1 of last year by planting a tentative 45 purple pinwheels in Wilton Center. In years past purple ribbons were hung on trees.
Come October, that number could be much higher, but not because police predict more reports by then.
“There’s a statistic that out of every four domestic violence incidences, only one gets reported,” said Cipolla, “so they might multiply our number of incidences by four, and you’ll see more pinwheels. That’s something that the task force was discussing.”
Over the same period of time last year, 88 incidences of family violence were reported, but unfortunately, Cipolla doesn’t consider the 50% drop-off to mark a positive trend. Rather, he chalks it up to the new reporting structure. In 2015 Wilton police began to file reports of verbal altercations under a different case heading than those of physical violence and threats.
He thinks a fair comparison will be able to be made
next year.
“It’s (also) tough to say, when numbers go up or down, what it’s attributed to,” added Cipolla. “If you’re spreading awareness, numbers could go up, because people are more apt to report it.”
For information, call the police department at 203-834-6260, and ask for Sgt. Cipolla or Sgt. Hartman. The Wilton PBA is a charitable association of the officers and administrative staff at the police department for the welfare of its members and that of the community they serve.