Police department is four officers short of a full staff

Two Wilton officers will leave the force in the coming weeks, while two others will leave their “probationary” status behind. Including these changes, the department is four officers short of a full force, acting Capt. Don Wakeman said Monday.

Detective Chris Isidro is retiring after a 25-year career in Wilton, while Officer Stacy Welch, who was sworn in to the department six months ago, will leave “due to a life change which will entail her moving out of the area,” Capt. Wakeman said.

The two officers taken off probationary status are Officers Wojciech Brodzinski and Scott Spazzano, who were sworn in as police officers in the summer of 2013. They have completed field officer training, and may now patrol Wilton on their own.

Two of the four open positions will be filled by officers who are currently attending the Connecticut Police Academy, while another will be filled by an officer currently serving as a probationary officer in the department’s field training program.

By spring 2015, Capt. Wakeman said, the department hopes to hire two additional officers, but is “somewhat limited by how many seats the Connecticut Police Academy provides to each department.”

The overall police officer hiring process also prevents the department from immediately filling vacancies, Capt. Wakeman said.

“The hiring and training process for a police officer is incredibly lengthy. From taking a written test to peer interviews, a background investigation, and a Police Commission interview, this can be a multi-month process,” he said by email Monday.

“Police academy recruit training followed by on-the-job field training adds about nine more months to that, making for a nearly yearlong start-to-finish period before a police officer is certified to perform their duties on their own.”