Chief: Police To Establish Volunteer Service Award in Jim Cole’s Honor

New Canaan’s police chief said the department is creating a new award to honor a recently deceased town resident known for his active volunteerism in the community, including with emergency response agencies. Among other roles, Jim Cole had served as head of New Canaan’s Police Commission, Fire Commission and Office of Emergency Management, and was known in town as an architect of the Community Emergency Response Team. 

He died Feb. 5 at age 81 following a brief illness. Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said it was “clear to me that we had to do something” in considering of Cole’s volunteer work and the “thousands of hours he gave to the town in different capacities.”

The New Canaan Police Department is establishing a Volunteer Service Award in Cole’s name, the chief said. The Cole award would represent just the second such NCPD honor that could be earned by a civilian.

James S. Cole, 81

James S. Cole passed away on Feb. 5, 2019 in Gainesville, Fla. after a brief illness, with family by his side. 

He was 81 years old. He was the beloved husband of Nancy Upton for 23 years. They resided in New Canaan until 2017, when they relocated to Fairfield. 

Jim was born in Baltimore on Feb.

‘An Unsung Hero’: New Canaanites Remember Jim Cole 

Saddened by news of Jim Cole’s passing this week, New Canaanites are remembering the longtime former resident as a dedicated volunteer who served the community quietly and in numerous ways while helping to shape emergency preparedness in town. A former chairman of the New Canaan Police and Fire Commissions who went on to become the town’s director and later deputy director of Emergency Management and served on its Traffic Calming Work Group, Cole died Monday in Florida, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. In calling for a moment of silence at a regular meeting of the Board of Finance on Tuesday night, Moynihan called Cole “a great friend of New Canaan” and “great volunteer” alongside his wife, Nancy Upton. Known for his deep involvement in the Congregational Church of New Canaan, local service organizations and the Community Emergency Response Team, a volunteer group known as ‘CERT,’ Cole was a widely respected expert on emergency response for whom the safety of the community was imperative, according to those who knew him. 

He not only helped plan for emergencies but also rolled up his sleeves to work hard when they struck, according to Mike Handler, New Canaan’s director of emergency management. Handler called Cole “a remarkable guy” who “took community engagement and involvement to a different level” not only as a volunteer but also as a great recruiter who was “fiercely loyal” to those who gave of their time as he did.

Town Plans New System of Crosswalks, Push-Button Signs To Help Pedestrians Safely Navigate God’s Acre

Town officials plan to install two crosswalks and three signs around God’s Acre in order to make the area safer for the scores of pedestrians who travel through it on foot as commuters, residents, church-goers, downtown visitors and others. Motorists who come off of Main Street and zip up by God’s Acre often come suddenly upon pedestrians seeking to cross Park Street at the crest of the hill, where St. John’s Place comes in, officials say. To notify those motorists that someone up ahead is about to cross a planned new crosswalk—one will come directly across Park Street to the southern corner of St. John’s Place, another spanning St.

Slowing Traffic, Protecting Pedestrians: Officials Eye Three-Way Stop at Elm and Weed

The wide, often harrowing intersection at Elm and Weed Streets may get a traffic-calming measure by default next summer, officials say, if the town approves funds for a new sidewalk connecting the top of Elm to Irwin Park. Residents have filed complaints with the town recently about the intersection itself, chiefly that motorists zipping down Weed are cutting into Elm by making that left-hand turn too sharply, according to members of the Traffic Calming Work Group. The problem is exacerbated because of difficult sightlines for motorists pulling up to the stop sign at the top of Elm, who need to nose onto Weed in order to see who’s coming, according to Jim Cole, deputy director of the Office of Emergency Management. “They are not leaving room for the car to get around them,” Cole said at the Oct. 14 meeting of the work group, held in the Training Room at the New Canaan Police Department.