We had a mother hen who kept us up to date with our reports and kept us out of trouble. Her name was Anne Fitzgerald. Anne is well into her 80’s and brought us back together under her motherly umbrella for a final Swan Song for her, so she said. She let us know this was her last official act. Anne, thank you for all you’ve done for me and many others through the years. It was a wonderful event and I thank you.
I brought my wife along on this venture. She was a real Trooper, just smiled and hung in there as war stories were told amonst old comrads. Thank you my dear for being a part of my evening, you rock.
STAFFORD — After 72 years of housing cops and crooks, the state police barracks on Route 190 will close this weekend.
The Troop C barracks is moving to new quarters in Tolland.
The troopers and other employees will bid goodbye to a cramped 1920s-era two-story building. Sunday will find them working in a state-of-the-art facility with nearly double the space.
“Hopefully, things will happen very smoothly,” said state police spokesman Sgt. Dale Hourigan.
A moving company will start transporting equipment and other items Saturday morning and everything is scheduled to be done by Sunday afternoon, he said. During the two days Troop C is in transition, the old and new building will be staffed.
“We’re not going to upset or diminish our capability to respond,” Hourigan said.
By 4 p.m. Sunday, the Stafford barracks will be empty, Hourigan said.
Residents and officials in Stafford said they will miss having the barracks so close.
“It’s a nice, secure feeling to have a barracks full of troopers,” said Peter Gibbs, who was walking along Main Street.
“We’re losing some good neighbors,” said Michael Robinson, president of the Stafford Chamber of Commerce. “We wish them well.”
Citizens say they’re not worried about how the barracks’ move will affect the policing in town, mainly, because the town set up a resident trooper program in anticipation of the move.
A state resident trooper, Dan Herman, two full-time constables, and nine part-time constables patrol the town.
Robinson said they are a visible presence in town.
“I see them all the time,” he said.
Dock Sellers, who was a former borough warden during a time in which the borough had its own police department, said most residents won’t even notice the change.
“Most people in Stafford have never driven to the barracks and have no reason to,” he said.
All the policing is done on the roads, anyway, he said.
“They don’t have to walk,” he said.
Built in 1923, the Stafford barracks was constructed of stone and clapboard.
At one time, the troopers were required to live, eat, and sleep at the barracks. That practice ended in the late 1960s.
The building won’t be abandoned for long if town officials have their way.
As a result of a 1989 special act of the state legislature, the barracks and the three acres would be transferred to Stafford.
Plans are to turn the building into a community center. Part of the old barracks would be a center for senior citizens, while another area of the building would used for a youth center, First Selectman John Julian said.
Senior citizens now gather at the Golden Age Club, while teenagers in town usually hang out on Main Street.
The plans depend on whether the town receives a federal grant, Julian said. The town applied for a federal Small Cities Grant. The town is eligible for $500,000.
The new phone number for the Tolland barracks is 870-9500 or 1-800-318-7632.