Wilton names new police chief


WILTON – Some might say Tuesday was a good day for Wilton. The town got a new police chief and a new firetruck.

In one of the shortest selectmen’s meetings in recent memory, the board voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Dennis Brown, 33, as police chief. Brown, who attended the meeting with his wife, lives in Windsor, Vt., where he has been serving as police chief since December 2005.

He is originally from North Carolina, and worked as a public safety chief for Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Before starting his job in Wilton, Brown said, he needs to work with the state’s criminal justice academy to transfer his North Carolina and Vermont certifications to Maine. The transfer will probably entail taking several courses, he said.

He has had significant experience dealing with family violence issues and child sexual abuse, he said. As a detective and police chief in the past, Brown said, he has often been the sole investigator of child abuse and rape cases. Currently, no officers in Wilton are trained to investigate such crimes, and after former chief Wayne Gallant resigned to become Oxford County sheriff in December, those cases have been taken over by Franklin County.

Brown and his wife, Amanda, have been planning to move to the Western Mountains for the past three years, since taking a vacation here and falling in love with the area, Brown said. His goal, according to a letter written by Town Manager Peter Nielsen, is to lead a department in a close-knit community and to build strong relationships with residents and department members.

The Browns plan to buy a house in Wilton, Brown said.

He is excited about taking over where Gallant left off, he said.

Selectmen on Tuesday also voted unanimously to purchase a tanker truck from the E-1 company, located in Brunswick.

The truck will cost nearly $182,800. A pumper with a 120-gallon per minute pump and a 1,000-gallon tank, the truck sits on a Freightliner chassis, Nielsen said. Both he and members of the Fire Department, including Chief Sonny Dunham, agreed the E-1 truck is the best option, and both said so during Tuesday’s meeting.

The truck will be in Wilton by the end of February, Dunham said. The vote ended a nearly two-year-long decision-making process between the selectmen and Fire Department.