WILTON — Selectmen unanimously agreed Tuesday to creating a sergeant’s position for the Police Department.

The position replaces that of a lieutenant and includes more patrolling and less administrative work.

While determining how to move forward after Lt. Page Reynolds left in December, Brown said he asked all department members their thoughts and he and they decided a patrol sergeant was needed more now. The department members created a job description that was later refined by Brown and Town Manager Rhonda Irish.

The Police Department provides round-the-clock coverage and has four full-time officers working 40 hours a week. The sergeant will work from 2 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, including eight hours of patrol that is now covered by overtime and eight hours so officers can complete investigations and lower their caseloads, Brown explained.

The approximately $9,300 spent on overtime will offset some of the sergeant’s pay.

The sergeant will also supervise an overlap period when the chief is off duty, work on employee evaluations, provide training and help with investigations.

The position will save approximately $9,300 in overtime, and that amount will pay for part of the sergeant’s salary, he said.

Selectman Russell Black questioned the need for a six-member department: A chief, sergeant and four full-time patrol officers. The department has four part-time officers, which Brown hopes to wean the department’s dependence on.

“In the four years you’ve been chief the workload has increased so that you have to have a fifth officer?” he asked Brown. Other chiefs did it with four, he added.

“They did it with overtime and there is an increase in activity,” Brown responded. He said the phone rings all the time. He also reminded the board there were issues with former departments.

Administrative Assistant Lucille Porter affirmed the increased activity for the department.

“Many have come to me and said I would not have come to the police station before. Five years ago I wouldn’t have dared to report anything. I’ve heard it from many,” she said.

Black said he couldn’t support six officers, although he supported the new sergeant position. He said residents have told him the “police force is too big for the town of Wilton.”

“Ninety percent of this job is perception,” Brown said, while explaining people see a lot of new faces but he had neglected to announce changes in positions this year. Two officers riding around together is for training purposes, he added.

He suggested residents attend town meeting and voice their concerns and participate in budget decisions.

Other selectmen said they haven’t received comments about the department’s size.

Black agreed he liked the idea of creating the sergeant position as a way to promote from within and for the morale of the officers.

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