Wilton Police Chief Brent Hautanen retires from post after 14 years on job

  • Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, November 09, 2017 11:11AM

This month marks Brent Hautanen’s last days as Wilton police chief.

Hautanen has filed for his retirement and put in his notice, he said in an interview Wednesday.

“I’m moving into a different career,” he said.

Hautanen declined to go into details about his new position, other than to confirm that it was in the private sector, completely unrelated to police work, and that he would not be leaving the area.

“I’m ready for a change,” said Hautanen, who has been in police work for more than 20 years, and the chief in Wilton for 14. He has been an officer in several local departments over the years, starting in Peterborough in 1991, where he was a part-time officer, then becoming a full-time officer in Antrim in 1996, where he rose to second-in-command, before being hired as chief in Wilton in 2003. 

There’s a lot he likes about police work, said Hautanen, but what he enjoys most is the people. “Meeting people. Helping people,” he said. Whether that’s helping someone through a crisis or giving children a tour of the police cruisers, those interactions have been a highlight of his career, he said. 

But being a police officer is a difficult job, in more ways than one, he said.

“It’s certainly a challenging job. Law enforcement, in general, is a challenging career, but being a police chief is extra challenging, not only for you but on your family. It takes a pretty heavy toll,” he said.

His wife, whom he has been married to for the entirety of his career, has been nothing but understanding of the demands of his job, he said, but it’s still not easy to get called away in the middle of the night or as the family is sitting down to dinner.

“Law enforcement becomes a lifestyle in some ways,” said Hautanen. “There’s no other job like it, I think.”

Hautanen said that whomever steps into his role won’t have to pick up many loose ends, other than the “normal fare” of the cycle of equipment replacement and building maintenance. There aren’t any major outstanding issues with the facilities or ongoing projects, said Hautanen. 

“There’s no huge issues in the pipeline.”

Hautanen said he’s unsure of how the town will proceed with procuring a new police chief or whether they will procure an interim chief. 

When contacted, select board member Kermit Williams declined to comment until the town had made an official announcement.