What you’re paying for

The last place most people want to be in is a police station. But this weekend, Wiltonians should make an exception.

Wilton police are welcoming residents to tour their headquarters on the town hall campus on Saturday, Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The police are opening their doors so residents may see the antiquated, inadequate, inefficient and in some cases dangerous conditions in which they work.

The 45-year-old building, which has had minimal upgrades, was built for a 25-person force that was all policemen. Today, the force has 44 sworn officers, six of whom are women.

As a result of those minimal upgrades, the building is overcrowded and does not comply with several state and federal regulations. The indoor firing range was closed years ago due to lead contamination. There are no sprinklers or smoke alarms.

Storage rooms and closets have been converted to offices, locker rooms, and IT operations.

Going for fingerprints? That space is shared with criminals who are being booked.

Next year, taxpayers will be asked to approve bonding for either a new station or major renovations for this one. The Wilton PD-Town Hall Building Committee has sent a statement of requirements to First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice and has requested proposals for architectural and engineering services for the design and construction of a police station project.

By visiting the police station on Saturday, residents will see what they will be asked to pay for. Police protection is one of Wilton’s most critical services. The station is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. People need to know what they are being asked to fund and the best way to do that is to go and take a look. No appointments are needed, just go in and take a tour.