Police Commission Approves Sunday Morning Partial Closure of Park Street for Church Services

Town officials voted last week in favor of closing the street in front of the Congregational Church of New Canaan for 90 minutes on Sunday mornings so that the faith community may gather and worship outside while maintaining social distancing. 

The Police Commission voted 3-0 in favor of the measure, which will apply to the short one-way stretch of Park Street atop God’s Acre from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Sundays. Deputy Chief John DiFederico, who received and presented the church’s request to the Commission, called it a “very reasonable request.”

“Most other churches in town have their own property and have the ability to expand outdoors into parking lots and what not, but the Congregational Church does not have that luxury,” DiFederico said during the Commission’s May 20 meeting, held via videoconference. “It is very easy to detour around,” he said. “It is not a state road or anything like that, so it would not be too difficult for us to manage. I don’t even know if we would need to station an officer out at that intersection.

Greenlink: Police Commission OK’s Request for Crosswalk on Oenoke at Nature Center

The Police Commission voted 3-0 last week to request state approval for a crosswalk on Oenoke Ridge near the driveway to the New Canaan Nature Center. The crosswalk would help pedestrians using the “greenlink” trail that runs through Irwin Park, Land Trust and Nature Center property get across Route 124 and onto a sidewalk that runs along the eastern side of Oenoke Ridge. “It’s always good to connect the walking trails and encourage people to walk and stay on the sidewalks and not cross in the middle of a road,” Police Deputy Chief John DiFederico said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Feb. 19 in the training room at New Canaan Police Department headquarters. 

Commission Chair Paul Foley, Secretary Jim McLaughlin and Sperry DeCew voted in favor seeking state approval for the crosswalk. The new “greenlink” trail opened on Earth Day two years ago.

Police Commission Chairmanship Turns Over at Heated Meeting

The appointed municipal body that oversees the New Canaan Police Department elected a new chair Wednesday night during an awkward organizational meeting. Paul Foley, a member of the Police Commission since December 2013, was elected chairman by a 2-1 vote following a heated exchange between his predecessor in the role and the town’s highest elected official. 

Sperry DeCew, a member of the Police Commission since June 2012, had served the past two years as chair. 

As per section 15-3 of the Town Charter, the three-member Commission meets “promptly after” Dec. 1—typically in January—for the election of its own officers “at the call of the First Selectman.” 

As First Selectman Kevin Moynihan opened the organizational meeting, held during the Commission’s regular meeting at police headquarters, DeCew said, “Let’s get on with this circus. Nominations for Commission chairman.”

Commissioner Jim McLaughlin—himself appointed one year ago to the Police Commission—nominated Foley. DeCew called for any other nominations.

Officials Vote 3-0 To Install Flashing Stop Sign at for Michigan Road Motorists at Route 123

The Police Commission voted 3-0 last week to install a stop sign with flashing lights at Michigan and Smith Ridge Roads to alert westbound traffic seeking to cross or turn onto Route 123 of the dangerous intersection. The move is one measure town officials are taking while they wait for the state to address concerns raised months ago regarding the intersection, site of “multiple serious accidents,” Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said during the Commission’s Oct. 16 meeting, held at police headquarters. 

“We just had another one,” Krolikowski said. He referred to an Oct. 15 crash in the area.