Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said his department is “on the cusp” of launching its widely anticipated program that will see some young New Canaanites found with alcohol at underage drinking parties offered a chance to attend educational workshops with their parents in lieu of facing criminal infraction summonses.
Several youth offenders already have been identified as prospective participants in a pilot launch of the “diversionary program,” the chief said.
“They’ve been identified through previous incidents and now it’s just a matter of working with an addiction psychiatrist” to establish a curriculum for the program, Krolikowski told NewCanaanite.com.
That curriculum will include information for both kids and parents about the ways that alcohol addiction can lead to abuse of narcotics such as cocaine and heroin, the chief has said. Both reducing youth access to substances in New Canaan, and the diversionary program specifically, rank among the NCPD’s goals for 2016, according to Krolikowski.
Since announcing the diversionary program in November, the chief said, feedback from the community has been “all positive.”
“Everybody thinks it’s a good idea,” he said.
A group of under-18 local youths has been identified as candidate pool for the program, and their parents have been notified about it, with a summary of what occurred to prompt their participation as well as the diversionary program itself, Krolikowski said.
A second group will include 18- to 20-year-olds, the chief said.
Youths have the option to enter the program—running through two 2-hour periods, likely on weekends—or facing the criminal charges that attend possession of alcohol by a minor.