Wilton Police Chief Heidi Wilcox announced she is stepping down from the role Nov. 1 to take a job with the state of Maine to center her career goals and focus on her family, personal life. Wilcox said she will miss most engaging with the community and her fellow officers. Pictured, Wilcox, center, fields questions regarding an arrest in 2020. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel file photo

WILTON — Police Chief Heidi Wilcox announced she is stepping down from the position Nov. 1.

In a letter posted on Facebook, Wilcox said she has accepted a position with the state of Maine. She did not disclose what that position is.

She’s stepping down to “center her career goals,” “be present for home and family.”

Wilcox has been with the Wilton Police Department 11 years, she said in an interview.

She looks back on her career highlights with Wilton as working with the “good programs” in town such as providing resources to senior citizens and programming for local children.

Wilcox said she’ll miss most working the local children, the seniors, and “the camaraderie amongst the officers in my department.”


Of course, Wilcox said she’ll miss the overall community as well.

“I think we [the police department] really interact well with our community,” she said. “And our community always really stands up in response when we need them.”

Select Board Chair David Leavitt said that strengthening the police’s relationship with community was also one of Wilcox’s highlights.

“She’s really reformed … the respect of the community. She made it a very, very friendly police force,” Leavitt said.  “You treat people with respect and you get respect back. I think that’s a big thing she has pushed forward with all of the police officers.”

She strengthened that relationship by “being very proactive,” “engaging with the community” and being “mindful of the taxpayers when building her budget,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt said another of Wilcox’s highlights is Wilton’s increase to clearance rates, the rate of reported crimes compared to subsequent charges filed (which is used to measure how much crime police solve).


“As far as crime, Heidi has done such a great job training her officers on investigations to solve crime,” Leavitt said. “Statistically, Wilton solves crime. So hopefully we find somebody that can keep that good work going.”

Leavitt said the Select Board will begin to discuss filling the position at future meetings.

“It’s gonna be a hard [position] to fill,” Leavitt said. “Any police position is [hard to fill], but the police chief is even harder.”

He anticipates it could be harder to hire for the position due to the town’s financial limitations.

“We can’t afford to pay what the big cities will,” Leavitt said. “To me, you really got to look at in our general area, regionally … what are the wages? We need to be competitive because it doesn’t do any good for any of us to steal from each other.”

Personally, Leavitt said he is looking for a new chief who is “community-policing oriented,” “someone with experience as a police chief” or in leadership roles, and “somebody that lives nearby so that they are committed to the area.”

Leavitt said the board will also consider officers currently on Wilton’s police force.

“We have good officers, some good leadership in the chain of command currently. Hopefully anybody gets a chance to progress in their career path,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to choose the best-qualified person that applies.”

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