The Farmington Police Department has a long history of serving the people of this town. Until the early 1960’s, the position of Chief of Police was an elected office. The first Chief of Police to be appointed in the Town of Farmington was Chief Carl Worster. Chief Barry Carr succeeded Chief Worster in 1987. In 1996, Chief Scott Roberge was promoted to the position. He began his career in Farmington as a rookie patrol officer in 1985 under Chief Worster and worked his way through the ranks. When Chief Roberge retired in 2012, his Lieutenant, Kevin Willey was appointed. Chief Willey served until April of 2014 after over 20 years in law enforcement. Chief Drury was appointed as Interim Chief of Police at that time, and then Chief of Police in September. He currently serves in this position, with 15 years of service to the community…
BELOW ARE EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH CARL WORSTER CONDUCTED IN 2001 AT HIS HOME ABOUT HOW POLICING HAS CHANGED THROUGH THE YEARS IN FARMINGTON.
When I took over the position in the early 1960’s, the total budget was $40,000. The department received $40.00 a month for gas, oil and car insurance. Until 1965, the town had no police cruisers. Officers would respond to calls by catching rides with citizens or use their own vehicles. The town’s second police cruiser was not even purchased until 1987. Now the department has five police cruisers.
The first Police Station in Farmington was on the corner of Mechanic and North Main Street. After it had moved to the front of the Town Hall where the Tax Collector previously resided. Then the department moved to the basement of the Town Hall with jail cells and all. More recently the Police Department was moved to where it presently is, behind the Town Hall along Worster Street.
In the beginning, Farmington Police Officers covered the streets on a part time basis from 8 am until 10 pm. They worked second jobs in the town’s factories to make ends meet. The pay was $18.00 a month and you had to be a Farmington resident. There was no police academy and everything you learned was from personal experience. It was a type of hand-me-down knowledge. Officers all had mix and match weapons and gear. There were no radios to be found. If you were in trouble on the streets, you relied on the help of a resident. The officers of old pretty much stayed in the downtown for their shift. Citizens would call in a complaint and it would go to a police phone box right in the downtown at Central and North Main Streets. The main calls for service were fights in the many “beer joints” after a hard day in the factories.
In the many years that Farmington has had an organized police department, there has only been one Officer lost in the line of duty. Deputy Chief Louis Sheets was killed in the line of duty on Route 11 during a snowstorm. He was doing business checks and lost control of his vehicle. The cruiser ended up underneath a dump truck traveling in the opposite direction. “A brother was lost that day”, said Chief Worster.
Many officers have come before the ones that serve you now, and many more will come in the years to follow. Just remember that we are here to help the ones who cannot help them selves. We do all that we can to see that justice is done expediently and under the color of law. You are all members of the police force in Farmington if you reach out and help another in need of it. Whether that be by assisting when they need physical help, being a helpful witness or reporting a crime that is being or has been done.
His closing remark was, “I would love to put the uniform on one more time to help serve and protect the great community of Farmington again.”
Sadly, Chief Worster passed away in September 2002.
In 1987, Chief Barry Carr took over after Chief Worster retired. Chief Carr came from Dover Police Department and, during his 10 years as Chief, made tremendous strides in moving the department forward. Chief Carr, a graduate of the FBI Academy, added personnel to the department, made significant advances in crime investigation and reporting, reached out to the community through new programs, moved the department to where it is currently and updated equipment.
During his tenure the department expanded from 6 officers in 1987 to 11 officers in 1997. Chief Carr also created the first full time detective position and implemented the department’s first computer report writing system. Further, he established one of the State’s first DARE programs in the schools, and issued new uniforms (with updated patches) and weapons to the officers.
Chief Carr, Roberge, and Willey all stop by from time to time, but are enjoying different careers and their retirements.