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Weston Police Chief Sees Changes Over the Years

WESTON, Conn. – Weston’s police chief carried a Smith and Wesson 357 Revolver when he joined the force in 1981 as a patrolman.

“Nobody carries revolvers anymore,” said Police Chief John Troxell. In the ‘90s, the officers switched to a Beretta 9mm automatic and soon after that switched to .40-caliber Glock automatic pistols. Two of Weston's officers also now carry TASERs, which Troxell said is a less-lethal option for defense.

Back when he was starting out, Troxell was required to complete only 60 hours of training before hitting the road. He started in a part-time position in August 1980 and didn’t go to the police academy until May 1981 – and it was only 14 weeks long at that time.

Weston’s officers are now required to complete 400 hours of field training after 22 weeks at the police academy – where Weston’s newest hire is currently training. Officers are also required to complete nine hours of pistol training per year, and most do more than that. Two officers were recently trained as field training officers after finishing a three-day course.

Every three years all officers have to be recertified. “Laws change and procedures change – it makes it safer for the officer and for the community,” said Troxell.

He was a patrolman for 25 years before becoming a sergeant in 2005 and the chief in 2007. Over the years, Troxell said technology has “brought the world closer to Weston.”

“Weston has always been an oasis – its own entity. People didn’t know about it – it’s such a small town with no industry,” he said.

When Troxell joined the Weston Police Department, more hands-on burglaries occurred with criminals breaking into homes. This type of crime is no longer as prevalent, he said, but the advent of the Internet has brought a whole new type of crime. Now, Weston residents are falling victim to identity thefts, email frauds and Internet scams.

Violent crimes, including domestic disputes, have remained static over the past 30 years, said Troxell. “For whatever reason, it doesn’t matter how much money you have, where you live or how affluent you are – people just sometimes can’t get along,” he said.

He said a recent study suggests the rate of deaths and serious injuries among 16- to 18-year-olds has decreased since new drivers face more restrictions. Seatbelt and airbag laws have also decreased the number of serious injuries in car accidents, said Troxell.

There has been one murder in Weston in Troxell’s 30 years. “Violent crimes are almost a fluke in this town,” said Troxell.

What else has changed in Weston over the past 30 years? Leave your comments in the box below or send your story to shenry@thedailyweston.com .

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