The “vast majority” of police incidents in town parks occur in Waveny, with 376 incidents reported there over the five-year period ending June 15, officials say.
The figure is far higher than citizen-reported and police-initiated incidents at Irwin (62), Kiwanis (31), and Mead (89) Parks, according to data cited by Police Chief Leon Krolikowski.
Though most of the incidents that police responded to at Waveny “were service-related, medical assists, animal complaints and suspicious vehicles,” Krolikowski said in a July 22 report to the head of the Parks & Recreation Commission, there were numerous criminal incidents as well. These include reports of a male masturbating in a vehicle and a fight during a wedding at Waveny House. Furthermore, on several occasions, the report said that “nationally organized gangs” were responsible for crimes committed in Waveny.
Ultimately, the police chief’s report recommends the installation of cameras in four areas of Waveny Park. Though Krolikowski had said in June that Waveny would be made safer with surveillance cameras, the Commission later called for a formal, detailed recommendation from the New Canaan Police Department.
In response to both the “number and nature of incidents” at Waveny and “concerns expressed by residents that frequent” the park, the cameras should be installed at the South Avenue and Lapham Road entrances, in the paddle hut parking lot and exterior of Waveny House. Matters to be considered in following these recommendations included camera quality, coverage and angle, monitoring, signage and video storage, according to Krolikowski’s memo, sent to Parks & Rec Chair Rona Siegel and distributed to the appointed body’s Camera Subcommittee.
An online petition which was launched after a vehicle belonging to Jennifer Dulos was found on Lapham Road near the park’s southern edge on May 24, the day she went missing, and which now has been signed by over 2,200 people, advocates for cameras in Waveny to enhance personal safety. Last month, members of the Commission’s Camera Subcommittee said they were looking to move forward with the effort.
In addition to cameras, the report obtained by NewCanaanite.com suggested the installation of motion lights and an emergency call box. Together, the proposed security measures “will deter crime, make park users feel more secure, and …will help with criminal investigations,” the report said.