Chief Crosby says he’ll miss job and ‘the people’
Wilton police Chief Robert Crosby had always envisioned becoming the department’s top officer, even from his earliest days with the department in 1983.
But those years have gone by, and Crosby announced last week he will retire on April 3, 2017.
“I’m going to miss the job,” Crosby, 57, said during an interview in his office last week, after making the announcement.
It’s a job he has held since he was 23 years old, fresh out of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Crosby began his career as a patrol officer, and has held virtually every position in the department. After eight years as a patrol officer, he served seven years as youth officer. Succeeding positions included detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and deputy chief.
In announcing Crosby’s selection to succeed former Chief Michael Lombardo, Chris Weldon, then chairman of Wilton’s Police Commission, noted Crosby’s experience and added, “Bob went to Wilton High School. He’s been in town for years and years, a bornand- bred Wilton guy.”
It’s not only the job Crosby will miss. “I’ll miss the people,” he said.
He looked back on his two years at the helm and said his achievements have been to deepen the ties with the community, and to increase the transparency of the department.
He pointed to the department’s participation in events like Toys for Tots and Stuff a Cruiser as examples of that deepening.
It goes beyond that, though. It is the daily interaction of the department with the people of the town.
“We are known for having a high number of vehicle stops, but at the same time, not as high a number of written tickets,” Crosby said, referring to verbal warnings. That allows residents to realize their error before they are further penalized for it.
In his statement on the announcement, he also thanked the Police Commission for granting him the opportunity to serve for two years as chief of “an exemplary police department.”
“It has been an unforgettable experience,” he said.
Crosby began his career with the department in July 1983 and was installed as chief on Sept. 22, 2015. At the ceremony he said, “When I was a young patrol officer in Wilton back in the early 80s, I had an aspiration to become chief of police, and I wanted to become chief of police here in Wilton, because when I start things, I like to finish them.”
Now he looks forward to a full month off, the longest vacation he has ever had. “I always took just two weeks off,” he said.
And then it will be time to find another job.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. Maybe I’ll be a teaching paraprofessional,” he said, explaining that he likes teaching and working with young students.