‘We Saw Overwhelming Appreciation’: New Canaan Police Launch Traffic Safety Initiative Downtown


New Canaan Police on Wednesday launched a traffic safety initiative downtown that’s designed to encourage motorists and pedestrians to comply with laws and stay aware.

According to a Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, “Operation Chill”—so named because those making good choices were rewarded with popsicles and ice cream bars—purposely was introduced just before the start of school, when families return and New Canaan sees more pedestrians and motor vehicle traffic.

Asked about the department’s major concerns, Krolikowski said pedestrians not using crosswalks and motorists not allowing those on foot to walk across marked crosswalks are high on the list.

“Another violation which is almost an epidemic is distracted driving—people driving around town on their phones is kind of a recipe for disaster, especially downtown where you have pedestrians crossing all over the place,” the chief said. “I’m just thankful that we haven’t had any serious accidents in a while.”

Under the new initiative, police on Wednesday handed out about 100 cold treats, Krolikowski said. The reactions from those on the receiving end was strong and positive, he said.

“We saw overwhelming appreciation from people, and they were kind of surprised and excited,” he said. “It was kind of a positive reinforcement for traffic safety, especially with the first day of school [on Thursday], we want people to careful, slow down, don’t drive distracted and watch for kids and crosswalks.”

Future installments of “Operation Chill” are planned and will be located downtown, Krolikowski said.


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