In an executive session at its meeting on Sept. 8, the Board of Selectmen approved the terms of a contract negotiated between the Police Commission and Interim Chief Robert Crosby, and Crosby will be sworn in as full-time chief of Wilton police on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. in the Brubeck Room at Wilton Library.
“Anyone is invited to come,” said Crosby, “but mostly it will be people that I know: chiefs from the area, obviously anybody here at the department I’d love to come to it. You know, friends, family — that type of thing. But it’s not closed to anybody.”
Crosby was acting chief for eight months before being hired permanently. He filled in for Michael Lombardo when Lombardo left Wilton in January to head up the Trumbull Police Department.
Crosby lives Bethel and is a 32-year veteran of the Wilton Police force.
Police Commission Chair Chris Weldon called him a “born-and-bred Wilton guy.” Crosby moved to Wilton from Norwalk when he was a junior and completed his junior and senior years at Wilton High School. He lived and worked in town as a patrol officer before marrying his wife Margaret, also from Wilton, and moving to Bethel.
“I probably spend more hours here in Wilton than I do in my hometown,” said Crosby with a laugh.
Crosby graduated from the Police Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) in Meriden and has a bachelor’s degree in justice and law from Western Connecticut State University.
He has held every rank in the Wilton Police Department: patrol officer, youth officer (now called school resource officer), detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, deputy chief, and now chief.
Judging from his many thanks, Crosby is grateful for his latest promotion.
“I’d like to thank the officers and the administrative staff for helping me out during this huge transition,” he said, “and I’d like to thank the commission for having the confidence in me to be able to do this job, and of course I’d thank my wife and kids for dealing with me,” he half-joked. “Could you imagine if your dad was a cop?”
And while he thanked his family at home, he had to comment on his other family down at the station.
“What’s nice about our agency is we’re middle-sized,” he said. “We’re not big like Bridgeport or Norwalk or Danbury. This is more of a family environment. There’s people here I’ve known for 30-plus years and have worked with for 30-plus years. I see them probably more than I see my brother and sister, so they are my brothers and sisters. It’s like a family.”
Though Crosby has made it to the apex of the Wilton Police Department, his continuing education as an enforcer of the law will not stop.
In October he will attend the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, where he has signed up to take a number of classes, including one that covers policing in the future.
“We’re all on the same page in that we want to be a progressive police department,” he said. “It isn’t just my dream; it’s the dream of all the officers down. We want to be progressive. We want the tools to be able to do our job well. We want to protect the residents of Wilton.”