NCPD: Coughlin Receives ‘Stephen W. Wood Officer of the Year’ Award; Gannon, Callinan Promoted


L-R: Marksmanship award winners New Canaan Police Lt. Joe Farenga and Sgt. Aaron LaTourette, Stephen W. Wood Officer of the Year Award recipient Officer Kelly Coughlin; newly promoted Sgt. Thomas Callinan and Lt. Louis Gannon; and Chief Leon Krolikowski, during a Feb. 10, 2022 ceremony at New Canaan High School. NCPS Instagram

New Canaan Police Department’s Sgt. Louis Gannon was promoted to lieutenant while Thomas Callinan was promoted to sergeant during a ceremony held Thursday at New Canaan High School’s Wagner Room.

The announcement was made in December and the promotions took place Jan. 2, but the traditional ceremony was postponed to February 10.

Gannon has been with the department for 30 years, serving as patrol sergeant, youth officer, training officer, investigator and, most recently, acting lieutenant. He is one of the two founding members of the department’s special response team, which is still active today.

Gannon has served as the town coordinator for the Connecticut Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run and was responsible for implementing the department’s bicycle patrol unit. He has earned the Chief’s Award of Excellence in Physical Fitness, the Commissioner’s Physical Fitness Award, and the Perkins Award for Marksmanship. He holds a bachelors degree in law enforcement administration for the University of New Haven.

“I thank the current administration for considering me – and for the selection that was made,” Gannon said during the ceremony, his son, Louis, who is nan officer with the Darien Police Department, by his side. “I thank the commissioners – and I thank my wife who put up with some stressful moments during the process.

“I’ve been fortunate with my career here,” Gannon added. “This is an accomplishment, a goal and a dream that I set out to achieve – and I’m very glad to have achieved it. Thanks to those who were involved in making it happen.”

Lt. Callinan has been with the department for eight years, serving as acting sergeant, field training officer, and as a member of the special response team. He has earned several awards throughout his career including the Lt. Stephen W. Wood Officer of the Year Award, Meritorious Service, Life Saving, and the Courage of Connecticut Award for saving the life of a fellow New Canaan Police Officer.

He has also been awarded the Commissioners’ Physical Fitness award and Unit Citations.

Callinan graduated from SUNY Cortland with a bachelor of science degree in business economics with a concentration in financial management.

“I am humbled and honored to accept this position,” a fully uniformed Callinan said during the ceremony, holding his young son. “My handsome son has been cheering us on from the get-go. I look forward to continuing my career with the New Canaan Police Department.”

Coughlin Wins New Canaan Officer of the Year

In addition to the promotions, Officer Kelly Coughlin received the Stephen W. Wood Officer of the Year Award for 2021, in recognition of her “exceptional work, integrity, and overall service to our town and department.”

“We created this award in 2014 to honor and memorialize a beloved member of our Department, Lt. Stephen Wood, ‘Woody,’ who was taken from us far too young,” said Chief of Police Leon Krolikowski, who presided over the ceremony. “Lt. Wood served our Town from 1977-2009. Before serving our Department, Woody served our country as a U.S. Marine.”

“Officer Coughlin has been with our department since 2015,” Krolikowski said. “She gives 100 percent in every situation, and treats every call and investigation with equal enthusiasm and effort. Her exemplary communication skills are an asset, especially when she was assigned as our Department’s Community Impact Officer (CIO) in 2021. During this assignment, Officer Coughlin took many initiatives such as updating our master business files and creating a computerized business file for our computer system.

“Officer Coughlin also organized and built a master security footage list,” Krolikowski said. “As the CIO, Officer Coughlin completed monthly community bulletins for merchants. The bulletins contained a wealth of useful and current information regarding crime prevention and crime trends happening in our area.”

“During her time as the CIO Officer Coughlin partnered with the Domestic Violence Crisis Center and provided stickers with a QR Code to promote awareness and provide a way for victims to find resources,” Krolikowski added. “Officer Coughlin reached out to merchants in town asking if they would like to display the QR Code in their window. Fifty merchants responded to Officer Coughlin’s request and displayed the sticker in their store windows.

Officer Coughlin also launched a program in New Canaan called “Take Me Home” that assists first responders when dealing with those with developmental disabilities such as Autism or Alzheimer’s.

“This program is great asset to our community and we are so grateful to Officer Coughlin for seeing this project through,” Krolikowski said, adding that Officer Coughlin has also dedicated many hours working as the school liaison officer for the New Canaan Country School.

“Officer Coughlin exhibits a high skill level in all facets of her job and she is highly motivated,” Krolikowski said. “We are very fortunate to have her on our team. She is an asset to our department and the New Canaan community.”

“It’s an honor to accept this award and just to be mentioned in the same sentence with Lt. Wood,” Coughlin said. “Although I never got to meet him, I have heard so many great things. It’s an honor to have this award and to work with so many great supervisors and officers. Its not a single award – it’s because of all the great people I get to work with. No single call, is it just me working on something; I always have great assistance from my supervisors and great support from those who I work with. Really, it is a collective effort.”

In addition, Lt. Joseph Farenga and Sgt. Aaron LaTourette won awards for their expert marksmanship skills.

”Each fall our officers have the opportunity to test their shooting skills,” Krolikowski said. “In the fall of 2021, Sgt. LaTourette won the Commissioners’ Shoot for his marksmanship and Lt. Farenga won the Perkin Award.”

LaTourette received a plaque while Farenga’s name will be inscribed on the Perkin Bowl. In addition, LaTourette may select to purchase a firearm or wrist watch that Perkin has donated towards the purchase.

Lastly, Officers Bryan Connolly and Chris Dewey won the Chief’s Award of Physical Fitness or their excellence in physical fitness testing in 2021.

“The test measures the officer’s fitness in the following categories: one and one half mile run, sit and reach, bench press, agility, and body fat,” Krolikowski said.

“We are exceptionally proud to honor our officers today,” Krolikowski concluded. “Each and every day we ask our officers do put their lives at risk for the community and they deserve our respect and gratefulness for this. They also handle many delicate and highly emotional calls which require the utmost care, and compassion. Our officers not only put their lives at risk, but they save lives every day. Whether it is on a medical call or providing a victim of domestic violence with safety resources and plans, there is no doubt that these officers make our department great – and we owe them each a thank you for the good work they do each and every day.”

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