‘She Even Had a Bottle of Water for Me’: Letters of Appreciation for New Canaan Police

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Police Chief Leon Krolikowski on Wednesday night spotlighted some of the outstanding work of the department’s officers.

During the Police Commission’s regular meeting, he cited a series of letters of appreciation from the community. 

“I think it’s important to better recognize the good work of our officers which we do not do often enough,” Krolikowski said at the meeting, held in the New Canaan Police Department. 

He added: “I’m sure myself and on behalf of the Commission, we should extend our thanks to all of our officers for the work that they do. We are about to enter into budget season when we are talking about statistics and numbers and costs and some things are difficult to measure, and these letters that we get are the kinds of things we should be highlighting.”

Here are excerpts:

Officer Roy Adams

New Canaan Police Department Officer Roy Adams on Elm Street. Credit: Michael Dinan

“I am writing to express my wife’s and my own thanks and gratitude to your Department and especially to your officer Adams … On July 18th at around 7:30 a.m. my wife fell in our apartment at The Inn where we reside. While unhurt, she was unable to get up on her own even with my insufficient strength to help (we are 92 and 94 years old)—911 was called. Officer Adams showed up first, took in and evaluated the situation. With soothing words he told my wife how to get into the proper position and, without any fuss, in a second lifted her up and into a chair. Seeing that my wife was frightened and shook up, he calmed us both, made her smile and relax. He had the situation under control from the beginning to the end. By the time the EMT team arrived, they had nothing to do.” —name redacted for privacy reasons (July 26)

“This is to express our thanks for the response of Officer Adams to our call for assistance last Saturday when our dog was accidentally locked in our car during a day when we were experiencing extremely high temperatures. After futile efforts to secure other possible help, my wife, Hope, called your department’s non-emergency number and described the situation. Officer Adams promptly appeared and with calm professionalism resolved the problem. Hope and I remain appreciative of your department’s response, and our joined by our Sadie, our 11-year-old lab/poodle/whatever.” — John Hetherington (Aug. 23)

Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm

New Canaan Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. Photo by Mackenzie Lewis

“I wanted to write to say what an exceptional Animal Control officer the town of New Canaan has. Monday morning, July 30, 2018, my newly adopted Maltese got scared while we were walking in Waveny Park. He managed to run under some bushes near the field and got lost at about 6:30 a.m., dragging his leash. We frantically searched, and did not find Indie, our dog. I left a message for Animal Control. Officer Allyson Halm called back. She set out to Waveny to look for him. She was asking everyone to be on the lookout for him. She called me and found me at Waveny still looking for our lost boy. She even had a bottle of water for me. I had been searching the woods for three hours, and really appreciated the water. I am happy to say we found him at 11:30 a.m., with his leash stuck in the woods. Were it not for her efforts, I might have given up too soon. To say she went above and beyond would feel like an understatement. Mondays are tough to begin with, that is not how she expected to start her day. But she was there immediately to help. My family will forever be grateful for her compassion and kindness.” — Kathleen Nurena (Aug. 3)

Officers David Rivera and Ron Bentley

New Canaan Police Department Officer Ron Bentley serves as the downtown’s Community Impact Officer. Credit: Michael Dinan

“Today while I was was working we had a suspicious male using our ATM machine numerous times. We watched him carefully to see what was going on. He left and returned multiple times and it brought suspicion. He had a difficult time speaking and was very confused. He was looking for a ‘tow yard.’ I called a few places in town who tow and found his vehicle at AC Auto. They informed me that the guy was there already and should know his way back. According to the lost male, he couldn’t find his way back and things became suspicious. In the meantime, I flagged down Officer Rivera which was a big help as well. Officer [Ron] Bentley and Officer Rivera both located the man who couldn’t find AC Auto. I just wanted to thank the two of them for their quick response and efficient work. It is a plus to having a downtown officer who is here to help. Also Officer Rivera was fantastic too! Please thank both of them and the New Canaan community appreciates them.” — Maria Kean (Aug. 1)

Officer Rivera

New Canaan Police Officer David Rivera. Credit: Michael Dinan

“We just wanted to mention how much we appreciate Dave and Apollo attending today’s Safety Day. I can’t begin to tell you how much we were impressed with Dave and how wonderfully trained Apollo is. They were the highlight of the morning and folks continued to talk of the demonstration throughout lunch. Again we appreciation the time and coordination that was put into the event on our behalf.” — Patricia Cooke (Sept. 6)

New Canaan Police Department Officer Owen Ochs’s swearing-in ceremony, March 2017 at Lapham Community Center. Contributed

Officer Owen Ochs

“Excellent job investigating incident 18-12497. It was a difficult case with many moving parts involving outside jurisdictions. You used good interview skills when interviewing the involved parties, and were very organized with the amount of information being received. Keep up the good work!” — Michael O’Sullivan (Sept. 12)

Robert Rizzitelli with his parents John and Linda, at a swearing-in ceremony as a New Canaan Police Officer recruit—Dec. 20, 2017 at Lapham Community Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

Officer Robert Rizzitelli

“Hello I’m just calling to give you a compliment about one of your police officers, Rob Rizzitelli. I just had a little encounter with him in downtown New Canaan. He was most polite, kind, understanding police officer I have ever encountered in my life. He is an asset to the New Canaan Police force and I just can’t say enough. He’s just a very polite, respectful, wonderful officer. Thank you.” — voicemail from a woman after she was stopped for a motor vehicle violation

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