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Lt. Bartek Says Goodbye after 31 Years in Wilton

His last day is today.

Since June 1981, Lt. Stephen Bartek has been a familiar face of the Wilton Police Department. After he punches out today, he’ll begin a new journey—that of retirement.

The 51-year-old lieutenant, who turns 52 later this month, has been working in Wilton his entire adult life. He says the job exists in “an environment that shapes you as a person.”

“It’s just been positive for me since day one, not so much because of the job but because of the people who are here,” Bartek says. “I think very highly of them and plan on keeping in touch. The character of the people here—I don’t know where you’d find them anywhere else.”

Bartek has enjoyed the interaction with all sorts of people over the past three-plus decades. The good and the bad.

“One of the things that attracted me was dealing with all kinds of people, different people,” he says.

It’s actually Stephen Bartek III, and the lieutenant followed in his father’s footsteps when he joined the Wilton Police Department.

“There was an overlap there of some 16 years,” Bartek says of serving alongside his father, Stephen Bartek, Jr. “Between the two of [us, there’s been] 50 years of the department that at least one of us has been here.”

Bartek says he never served directly under his father and didn’t work side-by-side with him, either, during their years on the force together.

“Obviously it’s a small department—you’re going to interact with him,” he says. “I was never under his command directly.”

Bartek corrects himself.

“I take that back,” he says, laughing. “I was under his command because I was his son, and I remember that quite clearly growing up."

"But not here,” he adds.

When asked if any particularly calls or cases stand out from his career, Bartek says he thinks of the job more in terms of familiar faces. 

“Nothing is coming into my head as far as anything bad or anything good,” he says. “It’s more of a general feeling walking out the door—the associations that you made with a lot of good people that help you through life. Emergency service is one of those jobs. It attracts good people. That’s my experience—people that want to help. It’s good company to be in.”

Bartek’s father joined the Wilton Police Department when the younger was three.

“Pretty much my whole memory is having Dad in the house and he was a policeman,” he says. “He conducted himself and his personal life to a high moral standard. I think everybody wants to mimic their parents to some degree. He was definitely a strong influence in my coming into this work.”

Bartek lives in Bethel. He has three adult children, two daughters and a son—none of whom are in law enforcement.

When asked if that upsets him, Bartek laughs and smiles.

“It’s not for everybody.”

Alethiologist January 16, 2013 at 10:53 AM
Gee, retired at 51...what is wrong with all government employees paying into and receiving social security instead of rich retirement packages.
Bill Cannon January 16, 2013 at 05:32 PM
You said it. In Connecticut you are ether a government employee or a slave for one!!!
Alethiologist January 16, 2013 at 05:46 PM
I can appreciate the fact that some policemen do not have youthful vitality to continue as full time cops after say age 55 or so but they could remain gainfully employed at half pay from 55 to 65 as guards in our schools etc. This would help them and reduce our taxes.
Markoni January 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Thank you for your service. You guys do the dangerous job of confronting criminals with guns and rescuing our kids when they are in trouble. I can not thank you enough. Enjoy whatever you do next. God bless you and your family!!!!
Officer Joe Bolton January 17, 2013 at 06:56 PM
if his retirement is anything like NYPD no surprise he is retiring this young.. NYPD officers can retire after 20 years of service ( most start in early 20's ) and their pensions are based on their salaries earned in their last 3 years of service. So they pad their last 3 years with overtime income - gross 140k a year, and retire with 70K pensions with full medical. Now go work in the private sector as high end security for another 20.. Nice gig.ENJOY !
Alethiologist January 17, 2013 at 07:17 PM
And consider the Army private doing the real heavy lifting whilebeing paid 18,000 a year What a sham
EMR January 17, 2013 at 07:39 PM
what's lots worse is that Wilton Taxpayers are shelling out 200k a year for a Fire Lieutenant who steals from little old ladies.
Stop paying for the fire thief January 17, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Are we still paying for the crook? Why?
Alethiologist January 17, 2013 at 09:44 PM
Must have something on Brennan
Ex Republican January 18, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Lt., I went to school with your Uncle Wayne and your Dad was on the force when I was in High School. Good luck with whatever you do. Don't mind the naysayers on here. They could not walk one day in your shoes.
EMR January 18, 2013 at 02:21 AM
Bartek is a good bloke. Still can't fathom why taxpayers are paying for Michelsen.
NTVWLTN January 19, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Alethiologist, Bill Cannon and Joe Bolton. Stop with the ridiculous and stupid uninformed comments. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about or how the pension works in town. Why not just say, "Congrats on your retirement after 31 years of service", "thank you" or nothing at all. LT. Bartek has been a dedicated employee for the Town of Wilton for more than half his life and should be shown a little respect. Congrats Steve!

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