The American Legion Department of Connecticut has named the Wilton Police Department the Police Department of the Year. The department was nominated by Wilton’s American Legion James B. Whipple Post 86.

The award is given each year to a department that excels in the field of “children and youth, drug education, community awareness projects and the participation of patriotic observances.”

In her letter informing Chief John Lynch of the award, Department Award Committee member Mary N. Harris shared she was particularly impressed with the department’s fundraising efforts with local businesses for domestic violence awareness and educational efforts with high school students about teen dating violence.

“The Wilton Police Department is honored to be the recipient of the American Legion’s Police Department of the Year Award,” Lynch said in a press release. We work hard and strive to create positive partnerships within our community. We are especially grateful that our community supports us in this endeavor especially our local American Legion Post 86.

“We always wonder if we are doing our best for our citizens and this award helps to solidify that our efforts are appreciated. Our focus is on our community as a whole while forging relationships and working together to make Wilton a safe place to live. To be accepted by the Wilton community is an added benefit and we appreciate the opportunities and support afforded to us by our citizens.”

Police Commission Chairman Don Sauvigné said the award is an “outstanding tribute and honor for the officers, staff, and leadership of the Wilton Police Department … This is a team award earned by the outstanding teamwork and professionalism of all the officers. Under the leadership of Chief Lynch, our officers are totally committed to ‘Serve and Protect’ our community, our residents and all who visit and pass through Wilton. The commission is especially proud of their ‘community policing’ efforts thereby engaging the residents in so many above and beyond ways.”

First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice offered her congratulations to Lynch and the department “for receiving this well-deserved recognition” and thanked Post 86 for its support of the department “and for sharing with the entire state what we all know to be true.”