Things don’t always go as planned and sometimes it is hard to go with the flow when thrown off course. Since I take comfort in the general predictability of my everyday routine (not in a twitchy, OCD kind of way) making adjustments can be jarring. No one likes drastic change of plans, construction detours, or even soup of the day, but we manage.
When it comes to change around New Canaan, especially with regard to its architectural landscape, many townspeople, like me, are resistant. That is why I am eager to keep our town looking quaint and historic. After all, we own the copyright on New England charm. I hold out hope that NC’s iconic police station will remain in its current, longstanding location at 174 South Ave. Perhaps delusional, I am sending out positive vibes that our town finance gurus will find a way to budget for a renovation that suits the needs of our first responders, law enforcement officers and emergency operations.
It’s not for lack of imagination that I cannot envision the police department operating elsewhere – the station simply belongs on South Avenue, with its critical centrality and close proximity to the Merritt Parkway, the (majority of) schools, the downtown hub and…me. I like knowing that the good ol’ NCPD is just a few minutes away.
Having the police nearby has proven useful to my early, albeit unorthodox parenting strategies. When my kids were little and an inter-sibling kerfuffle erupted, I would threaten to take them to the police department to sort things out. Most of the time, it did the trick and any uprising was easily quashed. Once (or, maybe three times), I made good on the threat when the children became a too combative in the car. It was easy to veer into the police station parking lot. The kids’ jaws would drop as they begged me to keep driving. Peace was reestablished in seconds.
The NCPD building holds some nostalgia for me and other townies. It has been a place of refuge when the going gets tough. No one in history has ever been so thrilled to get carted away to a police station than my 10 year-old self. During what should have been an overnight trip, my fourth-grade Girl Scout troop had to be evacuated from our campgrounds in Middle of Nowhere, CT. The peaceful retreat had been unceremoniously ambushed by an unruly group of wilderness winos who decided to throw a rager in eyeshot of our campsite. The startled chaperones deemed the situation dire, so throngs of terrified, pajama-clad Girl Scouts were ushered single-file out of the woods by flashlight, SEAL Team 6-style. We were driven to our safe haven, the glorious NCPD, where the officers took us in during the wee hours and contacted our shocked parents. Gone were fond memories of campfire serenades, S’Mores, ghost stories and the inevitable hair-braiding. I’m pretty sure there was no badge for Special Ops—otherwise, nailed it.
Historically, South Avenue has proven the best home for our law enforcement headquarters and for my own, unique personal needs and memories. Why change that now? Yes, funding is the driving factor—really, it’s the only factor. A substantial financial commitment is needed to invest in the home-away-from-home for the men, women and K-9s who keep New Canaanites safe (even the ones who stash their keys in unlocked cars). I wish I had a cool $10 million sitting around to donate to the cause and perhaps get some naming rights—or at least gain unfettered access for drive-thru child disciplinary operations and for when the going really gets tough.