New Canaan Police To Launch Civilian Police Academy, Open House in 2016

New Canaan Police are planning to re-introduce two programs in 2016 that are designed to bolster public understanding of their jobs and create even stronger relationships between the department and wider community. According to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, departmental priorities for this year include launching a Civilian Police Academy and hosting an Open House at the agency’s South Avenue headquarters, possibly as early as May. Neither initiative has been taken up in several years, and each could help address misunderstandings about police work including “the perception that we give a lot of tickets out and the revenue goes to town,” Krolikowski told “That’s not the case at all,” the chief said. “Somewhere about a third [of motor vehicle stops] are, and the rest are warnings.” (The New Canaan Police Department’s recently launched and publicly viewable “daily incident logs,” available here online, bear out Krolikowski’s estimate.)

“Another part of this is that people who are not familiar with police work often think that a crime should be solved within hours, and it generally is not possible,” he added.


‘It’s a Major Concern’: Police Eye Marijuana-Related ‘Drugged Driving’

New Canaan Police saw a 42 percent increase year-over-year in narcotics arrests in town from 2014 to 2015, officials say, driven mostly by marijuana-related incidents. While the year-over-year rise, from 52 to 74, does include some cocaine- and heroin-related incidents, it’s mostly tickets issued for possessing a small amount of marijuana—an offense that state laws effectively decriminalized by reducing it from a misdemeanor to an infraction, according to New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. The proliferation of pot is reflected not only in the department’s wide-ranging effort to reduce the availability of substances available to New Canaan youth, but also to a second NCPD goal for 2016: Reduce ‘drugged’ and drunken driving incidents. “It’s a problem for us that we are seeing it [marijuana] a lot more than before in people driving around in vehicles, it’s a major concern,” Krolikowski told Yet, except in extreme cases—or, say, in cases of people driving while drunk, where standard field sobriety tests or breathalyzers may be used to develop probable cause for an arrest—it isn’t always clear, in a traffic stop where marijuana is involved, when a driver is “under the influence.”

“The state has not figured out how to prosecute it yet, they’re working on that,” the chief said.

New Canaan Police Detail First-Ever ‘Narcotics and Underage Alcohol Investigator’

New Canaan Police for the first time ever are designating an investigator in the department who will focus primarily on narcotics and underage alcohol, officials say. According to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, the officer assigned to this role will track arrests and follow up to build cases people providing alcohol to underage residents and selling drugs in New Canaam. The program “is going to be a huge new initiative for us,” Krolikowski said at the Nov. 18 meeting of the Police Commission. “It is worth looking at narcotics and underage alcohol consumption as being more or less available in school, to some degree, and allowed at youth parties, so those are going to be two primary focus areas,” Krolikowski said at the meeting, held in the Training Room at the New Canaan Police Department.

Underage Drinking Parties: Police Chief Proposes New Program That Offers Education in Lieu of Arrests

To this point, officers arriving on the scene of an underage drinking party in New Canaan generally gather information about violations—someone is hosting the party and providing alcohol, or somebody is in possession of alcohol—and issue a few infraction summonses or make a few arrests. The balance of kids at the party who have been drinking will leave the scene with no accountability. Under a new initiative that New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski is designing—with support and feedback from the state’s attorney of the Stamford-Norwalk Judicial District—those kids’ names are recorded for possible participation in a “diversionary program.”

“The next step is I am writing to the parents saying, ‘Your child was at this party consuming alcohol, we can charge him or her with X,Y or Z—which is a fine and license suspension and has potential consequences on your insurance—or you can attend this diversionary program,’ ” Krolikowski said Wednesday during the regular monthly meeting of the Police Commission, held at NCPD headquarters. To be taught by volunteering psychiatrists trained in addition, the program would be attended by parents and children, and run through two 2-hour sessions—likely on a Saturday, the chief said—with a focus on drug and alcohol education. Those in charge of the program would “explain the consequences of early abuse of alcohol and drugs, and what that can lead to,” Krolikowski said.