Podcast: Stacey Walker of New Canaan CARES and NCPD Officer Jeff Deak on Vaping



This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Officer Jeff Deak of the New Canaan Police Department and Stacey Walker of New Canaan CARES about vaping, a substance abuse issue that remains a major local health concern, especially as it relates to New Canaan youth. 

Walker since the fall has been leading the New Canaan Coalition, a volunteer group that seeks to educate the community about the dangers of vaping. This Super Bowl weekend, a number of local pizzerias—Dante’s, Joe’s Pizza, Pinocchio Pizza, and Vicolo Pizza & Trattoria—will be using pizza boxes with vaping education messages designed by New Canaan High School students. Other local businesses that will feature NCHS students’ anti-vaping stickers on their cups and takeout bags include Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee, Club Sandwich, New Canaan Chicken, Tony’s Deli and Connecticut Sandwich Co. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:

School Resource Officer: ‘Nonstop’ Social Media Use Ranks with Drugs and Alcohol As Major Dangers Facing Saxe Middle School Students

Use of social media is nonstop among Saxe Middle School students and, with drugs and alcohol, represents a major danger facing New Canaan youth, safety officials said Monday night. No matter how much trusted adults warn middle school students about the pitfalls of social media, “it doesn’t matter,” New Canaan Police Officer Jeff Deak, the school resource officer at Saxe, told members of the Board of Education at their regular meeting. “And I throw into the mix the dangers of social media and you participating in illegal activities like vaping under 18, or drinking or doing drugs, and posting them,” he told the school board at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “Those issues, in my opinion—the alcohol, the drugs and the social media—are the big issues. I know some of you are looking saying, ‘What else is there?’ There are other parts.

‘It Has Stretched Down to Elementary School’: Police Address ‘Vaping’ Concerns with Board of Ed

New Canaan kids as young as those in elementary school are exposed to and experimenting with e-cigarettes, inhaling the aerosols produced by vaporizers in an increasingly prevalent practice known as “vaping,” officials said Monday night. Though long-term health effects aren’t yet known, vaping increases heart rates and blood pressure and is “kind of terrifying” in its use among kids, New Canaan Police Officer Jeff Deak told members of the Board of Education at their regular meeting. “Quite honestly, the kids think it’s a safe alternative” to cigarettes, Deak, the school resource officer at Saxe Middle School, said at the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “It has stretched down to elementary school,” Deak said. He added: “Some of the kids just think it’s fun—it’s fun to blow white smoke in the air.

New Canaan Police Department Promotes Four, Honors Three and Gives K-9 Apollo His ‘Badge’

Newly promoted Sgt. Marc DeFelice of the New Canaan Police Department describes his uncle, Dinny Lapolla, as a man of few words. “So when he talks, he makes his point,” DeFelice told a roomful of fellow officers and their families, town officials and guests on Tuesday night. During a special ceremony that saw DeFelice officially was promoted to the rank of sergeant—his was one of four promotions made on the night, in addition to three special awards given to other officers (see gallery above for information and quotes from honorees)—the New Canaan High School graduate recalled what his uncle, himself a 30-year veteran of the force, told him on getting hired. “He said, ‘Go out there and do the right thing,’ ” DeFelice recalled from a podium in the Douglass Room at Lapham Community Center.