Police Commission

Recent Articles

‘Fish in a Barrel’: NCPD Distracted Driving Stops Up 73 Percent

New Canaan Police have made 159 stops for distracted driving since June 1, officials said Tuesday—up from 92 such stops in the same timeframe last year, a 73 percent increase. Officers are using unmarked cars in some cases and though “the summer months are a bit lighter, people are away,” distracted drivers are very active, according to Police Capt. John DiFederico. “And we are getting cars pretty consistently,” DiFederico told members of the Police Commission during their regular meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. When Commissioner Paul Foley asked whether it was “pretty easy” to spot motorists using smartphones, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski responded: “Fish in a barrel.”

The update to the commission comes as police focus enforcement efforts on streets with histories of accidents as well as complaints. Krolikowski has referred to distracted driving as the number one, major motor vehicle threat facing New Canaan. Here’s a column from the chief that details what constitutes distracted driving and the consequences of such under state law. Continue Reading →

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Officials Wary of Proposal for Nonprofit, Community Organizations To Use ‘Pop Up Park’ for Sales

Town officials on Tuesday night voiced objections to a proposal that nonprofit and community organizations be allowed to sell fundraiser tickets or items such as Girl Scout cookies in the Pop Up Park downtown, saying the popular pedestrian area should remain entirely solicitation-free. When the cordoned-off park launched five years ago, New Canaan’s traffic authority specified that nothing be sold there “mostly because we did not want to have in any way reactions by the merchants that the Pop Up Park would compete with them,” according to Police Commission member Sperry DeCew. “I am not particularly happy about this [idea],” DeCew said at the group’s regular meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. “I do not particularly want people in there being solicited by anybody to do anything—Lobsterfest or Girl Scout cookies. I think it’s inappropriate and there should be no solicitation whatsoever.”

DeCew and fellow Commissioner Paul Foley—together with Chairman Stuart Sawabini, who participated in the meeting on speakerphone—referred to a draft set of “sales guidelines” from the volunteer committee that organizes the Pop Up Park. Continue Reading →

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‘I Fear for My Life’: Silvermine Residents Seek More Substantial Changes To Slow Motor Vehicle Traffic in Neighborhood

Though officials two months ago lowered the speed limit on Silvermine Road from 30 to 25 mph, motor vehicle traffic still whizzes through the neighborhood and its increasingly popular, pedestrian-oriented commercial area, residents said last week. Describing Silvermine as unique in that it has its own market, arts center and soon-to-reopen inn and restaurant, residents told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting that more must be done in order to reduce the speed of cars and trucks to safe levels. Mark Thorsheim said that reducing the speed limit hasn’t changed the behavior of drivers. “There need to be physical infrastructure changes beyond the 25 mph,” he told members of the Police Commission at their June 14 meeting, held in the New Canaan Police Department’s training room. “Silvermine, the road, the neighborhood is different than other roads. Continue Reading →

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Police Chief: First-Ever ‘Diversionary Program’ for Underage Drinking Kids, Parents Went ‘Very Well’

New Canaan’s first ever “diversionary program” for underage drinkers—in which those found at a party with alcohol may attend an education session with their parents in lieu of facing criminal charges—went “very well,” Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said Wednesday. A group of local parents and their kids attended a 3-hour session last week in which the chief himself and an addiction psychiatrist “went through everything from alcohol use effects and binge drinking, how it affects potential substance abuse issues in the future,” Kroliowski told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting. “We showed a film on binge drinking that resulted in death, and it was pretty compelling,” the chief said at the meeting, held at the New Canaan Police Department. “A lot of people, I think, were struck by that and hopefully it’s going to change the behavior and encourage people not to do some of the things we have been seeing in the past several months.”

Krolikowski first proposed the diversionary program about 18 months ago, garnering support from the state’s attorney and commissioners among other key officials. Parents and teens both face serious criminal consequences for providing alcohol to minors or, in the case of those underage, consuming it. Continue Reading →

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Police Chief: Investigation into Oenoke Ridge Youth Party Nearing Conclusion, Discussion of Criminal Charges Underway

Authorities are nearing the end of their investigation into a youth party at an Oenoke Ridge Road home last month at which a juvenile male was seriously hurt, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said Wednesday night. Asked to speak generally about criteria that officials use in deciding whether or not to bring criminal charges in such cases, the chief said, “It’s probable cause.”

“If we believe a crime has been committed then we apply for an arrest warrant for the offenders and the state’s attorney signs off on it or not,” Krolikowski said during the Police Commission’s meeting, held in the training room at NCPD. “But in a case like this we like to review all the facts beforehand with the state’s attorney so that we are all on the same page.”

Asked whether police had applied yet for an arrest warrant, he said: “Not yet, no, but that’s in the very near future.”

Police put out a public call for information about the March 25 party and received a “strong” response, Krolikowski said, though as with any major incident, “there were lots of rumors.”

“Many were unfounded,” the chief said. “There was some legitimacy to parts of the information we received and we had to compile it all. That is coming to a conclusion very soon, with a discussion with the state’s attorney about criminal charges.”

It isn’t clear whether police broke up the party, where it was, whether alcohol or drugs were involved, what was the nature of the young man’s injury, how old he is or how he was injured. Continue Reading →

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