Police Chief: Thanking Those Who ‘Protect and Serve’

Dear Editor:

New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski

Written on each New Canaan Police vehicle is the motto “protect and serve.” These simple words are what the men and women of our Department do exceptionally well. Our officers and civilian staff fulfill this mission every day.

In the coming months, we will begin budget talks which often focus on numbers, costs, savings, return on investment and other statistical data. Unfortunately, these talks do not focus enough on the tremendous value our officers provide to our town in ways which are often not publicized. 

Despite budget constraints, staffing difficulties and increased workloads our officers continue to perform well in their roles as crime fighters, caregivers, community partners and protectors.

Our Officers Ensure New Canaan is Exceptionally Safe

In recent years, we have seen an increase in career criminals coming to our town to commit crimes. However, due to the dedicated officers that work in our patrol division and investigative section, many criminals are arrested that make the foolish choice to prey upon our town. Due to the tireless work of our officers, we are proud that New Canaan is one of the safest communities in Connecticut.

Our Officers Provide Compassionate Care

Our officers are often the first on the scene during the hundreds of medical emergencies, which occur in our town. These incidents at times demand lifesaving efforts but always require compassion, professionalism and thoughtful care-these are areas in which our officers excel.

Annually, our department investigates dozens of incidents of domestic violence. If you live in New Canaan, and you are the victim of violence, it is highly probable that the perpetrator is someone that you love. Domestic violence is New Canaan’s violent crime. In each of these investigations, our officers balance their law enforcement role with their role as a caregiver. While each incident of domestic violence is tragic, I am confident that our officers handle these incidents more effectively than any other police department.

Recently, a friend commented that our officers are always friendly, approachable and professional. Sadly, some communities do not always feel this way about their officers. Each day, I am reminded of the value added by our officers when we receive thank you notes, letters and other accolades from members of the New Canaan Community.

Our Officers Excel at Professionalism, Community Service & Sacrifice

While handling some of the 16,000 annual incidents our officers are often put in situations where they are at risk, are exposed to a variety of threats, and are expected to make split-second decisions which involve life and death.  Some of these incidents are violent and put our officers in harm’s way. Yet, our officers consistently handle these incidents with great skill, bravery, dedication and smart decision making. 

I am proud of the way our officers effectively balance their traditional law enforcement role with their role to serve the community. Community outreach efforts such as Coffee with a Cop, the annual Youth Safety Day, the Civilian Police Academy and our School Resource Officer Program allow us to touch and thoughtfully connect with members of our New Canaan Community.

When the public asks what I am thankful for, I often tell them that I am most grateful for the quality, compassion, and professionalism of our officers. In my opinion, there is no better Police Department in our nation. 

It is a privilege to lead a group of professional and dedicated officers and staff, who continue to strive for excellence. It is evident that we all must celebrate the high return our officers’ provide on the Town’s investment. I will do my best to focus our upcoming budget talks on the value each member of our Department adds to the New Canaan Community.

When you see our officers, thank them for what they do, the risks that they take, the value they add to our unique Town, and the way in which they so professionally “protect and serve.”

Sincerely,

Leon Krolikowski, Chief of Police

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