Five-Year New Canaan Police Veteran Assigned to ‘Downtown Beat’

A five-year veteran of the New Canaan Police Department will serve as the next officer assigned to patrol the downtown and build relationships with the businesses there. Officer Kelly Coughlin started in the role of Community Impact Officer or ‘CIO’ Jan. 1, according to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. Established in 2014 following the armed robbery of a jewelry store on Elm Street—and filled in the past by Officers Roy Adams and Ron Bentley—the position has been cut for stretches of time in the past due to budget restrictions and staffing needs. In October, the People’s Bank on Main Street was robbed at gunpoint, and between two brazen daytime thefts in November, more than $7,000 in merchandise was stolen from Ralph Lauren on Elm Street.

Town Officials Approve Christmas Eve Road Closure by Congregational Church

Town officials voted unanimously Wednesday night to close Park Street in front of the Congregational Church to motor vehicle traffic for five hours on Christmas Eve. Though traditional caroling at God’s Acre is canceled this year amid the COVID-19 virus pandemic, the church is holding four outdoor worship services starting at 4 p.m. Congregants will gather under a tent, observing six feet of social distancing and wearing masks. The Police Commission voted 3-0 in favor of closing the street there starting at 3:30 p.m. for the safety of attendees. “There will be no caroling, no singing, we are all going to stay in line with the governor’s requests and keep the crowds down, keep the social distancing up,” Chair Paul Foley said during the Commission’s meeting, held via videoconference. “But when you are kind of milling around there in the dark it will be nice to have that street closed so that no one gets clipped by a car coming through too fast.”

Foley and Commissioners Jim McLaughlin and Shekaiba Bennett voted 3-0 in favor of the road closure.

NCPD

Police: Four Firearms Stolen from Locked Vehicle on Michigan Road

Police say three pistols and a shotgun were reported stolen Monday morning in an apparent smash-and-grab from a locked vehicle in a Michigan Road driveway.  

Police at about 10:57 a.m. on Dec. 14 were dispatched to the Michigan Road home on a report of thefts from two vehicles parked in the driveway, according to a press release issued by Chief Leon Krolikowski. Among the items stolen from a locked car whose passenger-side window was broken were .22, .32 and 9-millimeter caliber pistols and a 12-gauge shotgun, all locked in a gun case inside the vehicle, the press release said. A money clip, cash, fishing rods and reels and sporting equipment also were stolen.

New Canaan Police Commissioner Pushes for Hardline Prosecution of Car Thieves

Those caught after breaking into or stealing cars from New Canaan typically get off easy since their cases are classified as property rather than violent crimes, officials said this week. It’s rare for car thieves to go to jail, New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said Wednesday. “Usually they’ll get released and it’s kind of a revolving door,” Krolikowski said during a regular meeting of the Police Commission, in response to a question about the thefts. “Lots of times they get arrested multiple times. I’ve heard of cases where people have been arrested dozens of times and the people still aren’t in jail.

Police: Psychiatric Calls Up, Car Crashes Down Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

New Canaan Police reported last week that car crashes are down significantly in 2020. Police Chief Leon Krolikowski told members of the Police Commission during their regular meeting Oct. 21 that motor vehicle accidents with property damage are down 41% through September of this year compared to last, from 293 to 172, while accidents with injuries are down 36% in the same period, from 33 to 21. “I think that is related to the dramatic decrease in traffic that we saw due to COVID,” Krolikowski said during the meeting, held via videoconference. 

As police anticipated, authorities also have seen a steep rise of psychiatric calls, which doubled in March amid the early weeks of the pandemic here and are up  54%, from 26 to 40 year-to-date through September. 

“That is a pretty good increase and our officers are certainly doing a great job with our crisis intervention teams and dealing with people who have pretty profound behavioral health issues that we are trying to deal with as effectively as we can,” Krolikowski said.