Police: New Canaan Sees Uptick in Residential Burglaries

The chief of police is asking New Canaan residents to take precautions following a recent uptick in home burglaries. The New Canaan Police Department responded to five burglary calls in January, up from zero in December and just two in the year-ago month, Chief John DiFederico reported at the Feb. 15 Police Commission meeting. “We had quite an uptick in the burglary trend,” DiFederico said during the meeting, held at police headquarters and via videoconference. 

“It’s one of those things that seem to be cyclical and when a crew gets going, they kind of hit hard and fast and we’ve had some go through town,” he continued. “We put out some social media tips to keep the lights on, keep the doors locked, obviously.

New Canaan Police Help Elderly Resident Recover $145,000 Stolen in Scam

Two New Canaan police officers recently helped an elderly resident who been scammed out of $145,000 recover the money, officials said. Police Chief Leon Krolikowski during last week’s Police Commission meeting spotlighted a letter of appreciation regarding the work that Officers Joseph Schinella and Owen Ochs did on what the chief called a “pretty exceptional” case. “It’s a constant battle,” Krolikowski told members of the Police Commission during their Sept. 21 meeting, referring to scams that often target older residents. Sgt.

ARPA: New Canaan Police To Request $110,000 for Enhanced School Security

In the wake of the May 24 school shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, New Canaan Police are requesting $110,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds in order to increase the presence of officers in public and private schools in New Canaan. Dedicated school resource officers or “SROs” already are assigned to Saxe Middle School and New Canaan High School, and NCPD has “liaison” officers at all schools in town and trainings for officers within schools, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski told members of the Police Commission at their June 15 regular meeting. 

Yet the elementary and private schools in New Canaan “do not get a whole lot of police presence,” Krolikowksi said at the meeting, held at NCPD headquarters and via videoconference. 

The chief said that given the school shooting in Uvalde, where 19 students and two teachers were fatally shot, he re-wrote a request for ARPA funds for the Police Department—originally a request for public education and enforcement for stolen vehicles and thefts from vehicles, a portable finger-printing device and secure cabinets—to hire an officer to check on each school every day. The program would start in August when the new academic year begins and run through the 2022-23 school year, Krolikowski said. It likely would be an assignment covered by multiple officers and ideally would yield 16 additional school checks daily, he said. The $110,000 allocation “would allow us to fund that and hire an officer dedicated just to patrolling and checking through all of the schools and that would be their sole focus,” he said.

‘I Think This Helps’: Three Loading Zones Downtown To Become 15-Minute Spaces

Saying there’s an increased need for quick visits to downtown New Canaan restaurants and shops, and that delivery trucks often double-park anyway, town officials this month approve a proposal to convert three loading zones to 15-minute spaces. The Police Commission at its March 16 meeting voted 3-0 to convert loading zones on Forest Street (just past the diner), on Main Street at East Avenue and on Elm Street near the intersection with Park Street into 15-minute spaces. Laura Budd presented the concept to the Commission in her dual roles as executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Parking Commission, which adjudicates parking ticket appeals. “Obviously our number-one goal is always public safety,” Budd said during the meeting, held via videoconference. She said there are some loading zones in downtown New Canaan that get frequent use and “should not be touched,” such as one on South Avenue at Elm Street, and another on Burtis Avenue.