The Wilton Police Department’s web page for the tip line. Wilton residents will be able to watch a video and fill out a form to report any suspicious activity which will go directly to on-duty police officers. Submitted Photo

WILTON — Wilton’s Neighborhood Watch program has officially launched its tip line, according to Vice-Chair Mike Wells at the Select Board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

The tip line can be found on the Wilton Police Department’s website at in the upper right-head corner. Clicking on the tip line link will give Wilton residents the option to fill out a form to report suspicious activity and a training video that links to an interview with Tom Saviello, Wells and Wilton Police Sergeant Gerald Maccione.

According to Wells, Selectperson Phil Hilton is responsible for putting the website together. Originally titled the Community Watch Program, Wells stated the abbreviation was too similar to the concealed weapon’s permit [CWP], which he said was counter-intuitive to their goal.

“The great thing about this technology-wise,” Wells stated, “it will go directly to the cruisers, so whoever’s on duty can get that tip immediately. It reduces the intelligence gathering and decision making, getting it into the hands of the operators so that they can go out and investigate one of these issues.”

Wilton PD stressed in a press release that the tip line is not a replacement for 911 and strongly suggested residents still use 911 for emergency situations. The release states the tip line is for citizens that notice patterns in their community, such as seeing strange cars and noticing increased traffic to a residence.

The release also states that residents should take note of the time, date, location, activity observed, number of individuals with descriptions [gender, height, weight, age, ethnicity and clothes] and vehicles information [car, truck or SUV, color, make and model, plate number].

Wells first approached the Select Board with the need to start a neighborhood watch program in April of last year.

“We’ve got to do something really quickly about the drug trade that’s occurring in the town of Wilton,” Wells stated via Zoom at the previous Select Board meeting. “One of the best concepts is to form a neighborhood watch, where we get out the signage and the Wilton PD website is updated so that there’s some sort of link that they can get tips.”

The Neighborhood Watch program came to prominence in the 1960s, with the modern iteration developed as a result of sheriffs and police chiefs around the country seeking a crime prevention program using citizen involvement. Since its inception, the program has evolved to promote the establishment of ongoing local groups that encourage citizens to partner with their law enforcement agencies to reduce local crime.

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