On May 30, Memorial Day, we honor those veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for our great county. Memorial Day honors their service and sacrifice. Nearly 850 Veterans are buried in Lakeview Cemetery. Before Memorial Day, New Canaan war veterans distribute poppies to honor the ultimate sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. The significance of the poppy in honoring our nation’s war dead is traced to World War I.
From the battlefields of World War I, weary soldiers brought home the memory of a barren landscape transformed by wild poppies, red as the blood that had soaked the soil.
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls, as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. In 2021, across our nation, 619 officers died in the line of duty. We must honor these men and women. This week, we honor two New Canaan Officers whom died in the line of duty:
Chief Constable Louis Drucker, End of Watch: January 25, 1888
Louis Drucker died on January 25, 1888 after being shot in the chest by a bootlegger when responding to a complaint of illegal alcohol sales at a Seminary Street home.
Distracted driving is a significant threat to traffic safety. Distracting driving is dangerous, claiming 3,142 lives nationally in 2019. We as a community need to work together on making our roads safer. The best way to end distracted driving is to educate motorists about the danger it poses and to strictly enforce Connecticut’s distracted driving laws. Thanks to a state grant, our Department will conduct increased distracted driving enforcement from April 1, 2022 thru April 20, 2022.
According to the “2018 DOJ Report on Senior Abuse and Financial Exploitation,” each year an estimated $3 billion is stolen from America’s seniors through a variety of mass mailing, romance, and vendor or contractor scams. They may also fall prey to imposters who claim to represent the IRS, Medicare or Medicaid, or Social Security. Unfortunately, New Canaan is not immune to these scams.
In 2021 our Department investigated 47 fraud complaints and some of these incidents targeted seniors. This month, a senior resident contacted our Department to report being the victim of a PayPal scam. The scammer emailed the resident and stated that a PayPal payment was received. The resident opened the fraudulent email, which may have allowed the scammer to access the resident’s computer.
Every day the men and women of the New Canaan Police Department protect and serve our Town with great distinction.
On November 11, Veterans Day, we honor those who pledged to protect and serve our great country-our Veterans. Veterans Day honors the service and sacrifice of those who have served in the U.S. Military.
I want to recognize the following Department members who have served in our military and continue to serve our Town:
Lieutenant Jim George-U.S. Army
Sergeant Aaron LaTourette-U.S. Marine Corps
Officer Geoff Lambert- U.S. Marine Corps
Officer Roy Adams-Connecticut Army National Guard
Officer Bryan Connolly-U.S. Coast Guard
Officer Rex Sprosta-U.S. Marine Corps
Officer Matt Marzano-U.S. Marine Corps
Officer Chris Dewey-U.S. Army and New York Army National Guard
Officer David Rivera-U.S. Air Force
Officer Matthew Blank- Connecticut Army Air National Guard
Officer Owen Ochs- U.S. Army
Often our officers are not adequately recognized for the great and at times dangerous work that they do. Annually, our officers handle thousands of calls for service and some of these calls are violent, which put our officers in harm’s way. Yet, without fail our officers consistently handle these incidents with great compassion, skill, bravery, and dedication. When you see our officers, thank them for what they do, the risks that they take, and how they so professionally “protect and serve” our Town.