Police chief: Repairs needed at Wilton jail

WILTON – The arrest of two intoxicated teenagers on May 9 resulted in the destruction of one of the cells at the police station. Police Chief Eric Olesen described the incident for the Select Board on May 14, and outlined the needed repairs and cost.

The two were eventually transported to Valley Street Jail in Manchester.

A toilet was ripped from the wall, Olesen said, and a lock broken. “We’re going to have to spend some money. We need to add protection for officers as well as prisoners.”

He also wants to look at the upgrading of the cells, which were previously in the old station at the town hall.

“The cells need to be reconfigured and strengthened,” he said. At 3 a.m. (when the incident occurred) there is usually only one officer on duty.

The cell surveillance camera system “needs to be upgraded so the officer can watch from his desk.” He would like to add some plexiglass protection.

Suicide prevention also needs to be looked into.

“We have to change our policy on housing (people who are arrested),” Olesen said.

It was agreed that Olesen would work with the Department of Public Works on strengthening cells and steel toilets would be installed.

“I’ll look into the costs,” he said, “and keep the board informed.” He added, the incident was “definitely an exception.”

In other business on Monday, the Board approved a request from the Girl Scouts to install a second dog waste collection station near the elementary school.

Closure of the Stagecoach Road Bridge to vehicles will be discussed at a public hearing in June.

Board Member Matt Fish asked that the New Reservoir be opened to residents for swimming, many of whom swim there already.

Member Kermit Williams suggested the “No Swimming” signs, installed many years ago when the reservoir was used by the water department, be removed. He noted that there is no ordinance against it, and there is no liability if there is no charge.

The idea was tabled until the town’s insurance carrier is consulted.

Fish met with members of Habitat for Humanity to discuss a town-owned lot near Intervale Machine as a place for a house. They will meet with the board to discuss the proposal.

A proposal for interior signs at the Town hall will be reviewed.

Several people questioned the move to “summer hours,” meeting on the first and third Mondays of each month, beginning in June. Chairman Kellie-Sue Boissonnault said the added time was necessary for thorough research of questions. The board will not meet on Memorial Day, May 28.