Despite the odds, with the state still locked in a stalemate over a budget that threatens the economic baseline of towns including Wilton, the Wilton Police Department has added two new recruits to its ranks and promoted two of its officers to higher rank on Monday, Sept. 25.
Sgt. David Hartman was promoted to lieutenant and Officer Timothy Fridinger was promoted to sergeant in a ceremony at the town hall annex.
“We’re thankful we were able to do this and have two new recruits,” said Chief John P. Lynch, following the ceremony that attracted about 50 family members and fellow officers. He said it would be nine months before the recruits actually take their places on the force, because of the training and academy time.
First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice presided over the event and said she was happy it could be done in a time of such budget uncertainty. The new recruits help replace officers the department was short of.
“We congratulate the officers and their families,” Vanderslice said.
Hartman is a Wilton native and graduated from Wilton High School. During that time, he served as a Wilton Police Explorer and was a member of the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Marist College, and holds numerous certifications in the law enforcement field.
He was promoted to sergeant in November 2014.
Hartman is a certified field training officer and served as the strategic traffic patrol officer and training officer.
He was joined at the event by his wife Lisa and children Kaitlyn, Connor and Ryan. His parents, Barbara and Stephen Hartman, and his sister, Tracey Darmofal, also attended.
Fridinger joined the department in 2002. He earned a bachelor of science degree in conservation law enforcement from Unity College in Maine. He earned a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University.
Fridinger is a certified training officer, a law enforcement training instructor, a firearms instructor, and a prior member of the Southwest Emergency Response Team, where he is a certified sniper and lead firearms armorer. He is a founding member of the honor guard and previous dive team member.
He is president of the local police union, and has been for four years.
Fridiner is the resident chef at police headquarters, cooking all types of exotic meats and tends to the grill for his shift and whenever there is a department event.
He was joined at the event by his wife Liz and his parents, Tim and Claudia.
Town Clerk Lori A. Kaback administered the oaths of office.