Column: New Canaan Police Chief on Fraud Prevention for Seniors

According to the “2018 DOJ Report on Senior Abuse and Financial Exploitation,” each year, an estimated three billion dollars is stolen from America’s seniors through various scams. Seniors often fall prey to imposters who claim to represent the IRS, Medicare or Medicaid, Social Security, or other legitimate businesses. Unfortunately, New Canaan is not immune to these scams. Over the years, some New Canaan seniors have suffered substantial financial losses. 

In 2020, our Department investigated 54 fraud complaints, and some of these scams targeted seniors. This month, a resident contacted our Department to report receiving a call from an individual claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. The caller requested that the resident provide a social security number, stating the resident’s social security number was frozen due to fraud. The fraudster said that he was transferring the call to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) for further investigation.

Letter from Police Chief: New Canaan Officers Who Have Served in U.S. Military

Dear Editor:

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 Own 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.

Police Chief: Help Us Stop the Violence

Although our Town has little crime, crimes such as domestic violence have remained constant over many years. Domestic violence is New Canaan’s violent crime. 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 both a national and an intimately local problem that knows no boundaries. Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. According to former Attorney General Janet Reno: “Too many American women live in fear of the very people upon whom they depend for love and affection. Instead of providing refuge, the walls of many homes serve as prison bars.” 

Thus far in 2020, our department investigated 30 family disputes, and many of these investigations resulted in arrests.

Police Chief: Pedestrian Safety in New Canaan

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to transportation, but there’s one that all road users share—everyone is a pedestrian. Unfortunately, pedestrians are one of the few groups of road users to experience an increase in fatalities in the United States. 

In New Canaan, both pedestrians and drivers do not obey laws and signals consistently and many often use cell phones while walking or driving. In one study, only 60% of pedestrians said they expected drivers to stop when they were in crosswalks, even though they have the right-of-way. 

As a pedestrian, you are at a major disadvantage when crossing streets, intersections and standing on corners. You are not always visible to drivers. Here are some tips that can keep you safe.

Op-Ed: ‘Honoring Our Nation’s War Dead’ with Poppies

Typically, on the weekend before Memorial Day, war veterans distribute poppies to honor the ultimate sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. However, due to the pandemic members of our local Veterans of Foreign War Post, 653 will not be distributing poppies. 

Still, poppies will be available for no contact self-service in front of ACME, Dunkin’ Donuts, Walter Stewart’s Market and Zumbach’s. 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. By that miracle, the poppy became a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war and represented the hope that none had died in vain. The poppy has continued to bloom for the casualties wars, its petals of paper bound together for veterans by veterans, reminding America each year that the men and women who have served and died for their country deserve to be remembered. 

Although poppies have a long history of being used to honor the dead in both Greek and Roman mythology, the poppy, as a memorial flower to the war dead, can be traced to a single individual, Moina Michael.