‘We Should Be Able To Do That’: Police Eye Unannounced K-9 Sweeps for Drugs at NCHS


As part of a wider effort to address drug use among New Canaan youth, police say they’re trying to find a way to bring the department’s new K-9 unit into the high school for unannounced sweeps of the building.

Asked at Tuesday’s Police Commission meeting whether K-9 dog Apollo found any substances during an exercise where he swept through NCHS hallways just prior to the start of the academic year, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski answered: “Suffice to say there are drugs in the school as we speak, no question—and there always have been and always will be.”

“It is just our job to disrupt that and make people think twice if they are going to bring drugs on campus,” the chief said at the meeting, held in the Training Room at the New Canaan Police Department. “That is our intent. We are working with the superintendent where there is some kind of policy where we are able to go, unannounced, and check for narcotics.”

Asked at the time of the K-9 sweep whether unannounced visits by Apollo could become part of NCHS policy, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said the school board was reviewing its policies and was committed to making its schools drug-free.

Police Commissioner Paul Foley said at the meeting that Krolikowski had the “total support” of the commission to make unannounced K-9 sweeps at the high schools.

“If you were told that you cannot do a sweep of the school, we would like to know that,” Foley said. “Because I think we should be able to do that.”

Krolikowski said that the department was “moving in the right direction” with respect to the schools and added that private schools also are interested in getting involved.

The discussion arises as, at the request of First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and others, a wider community effort to prevent drugs in schools takes shape.

Police Commission Chairman Stuart Sawabini noted that narcotics incidents at NCPD saw a slight year-over-year rise, and asked whether anything specific could account for the increase.

Krolikowski said the department is seeing “a ton of marijuana” which is “more or less decriminalized” and that New Canaan “is seeing heroin here, no doubt,” as well as crack, cocaine and other narcotics. The chief said he may ask for a specific line item in the upcoming budget year to dedicate staff to investigating the sale of drugs in town.

A problem that local experts from Silver Hill Hospital says typically starts at home with kids taking their parents’ opioid-based painkillers from a medicine cabinet, heroin abuse made headlines in town recently when a Town Councilman noted that the town in recent years has lost six young people to overdoses.

Krolikowski said that one point of focus now is New Canaan High School.

“We can’t stop people from doing certain things in their own homes but certainly we can make it difficult for them to bring drugs into school, and make it uncomfortable for them, and arrest people, especially if they are selling,” he said.

6 thoughts on “‘We Should Be Able To Do That’: Police Eye Unannounced K-9 Sweeps for Drugs at NCHS

  1. This is a terrible idea. Kids should be able to go to school and not feel like they are living in a police state. Should kids bring drugs or cannabis to school? Of course not it is a stupid thing to do but guess what? Sometimes kids do stupid things. But that does not mean they should be taken down by a German Shepard on the way to math class because they have a joint in their backpack?
    I know the town loves the new police dog but it seems it is only used to bust personal use cannabis offenders at traffic stops and now to harrass high school students while they are in school.
    The police in is town do a tremendous job but should continue to protect and serve not harass and instigate.

    • If drugs and alcohol were not present in our school this is not something that would be needed. Unfortunately, there are a lot of drugs and drinking going on by the teens in this town at home and in school…… why do you think we had to cancel homecoming festivities last year, kids were throwing up at school. If your child does not have drugs on them the dog will not go near them so you have nothing to worry about. You will however have to worry about the kids that are dealing the drugs hoping to get your son or daughter as a customer. One drug dealer was caught in school last spring so don’t delude yourself that our kids are safe when we drop them off at school. For the record, drinking underage and being in possession of marijuana is not only stupid it is illegal…..
      When we let our kids do this we are saying ” ok these are the laws we are letting you break”….
      The drinking age is 21 and as far as I know we have not legalized marijuana in the state of Connecticut yet.

    • It’s an excellent idea. Kids should be able to go to school without being hassled by drug dealers. Thank you, Chief Krolikowski, Principal Egan and, of course, Apollo.

  2. Well it is really great that we have had ONE pro-active day at the High School with the K-9 patrol, what we really need is a dog there full time. These kids are getting high in the bathrooms and the faculty and parents will never know because they are using vapor pens which have no smell and leave no residue. The kids are moving on to the straight THC oil that they can get from Colorado and again, parents have no clue. Frankly, parents are not even sure what to look for when they are trying to figure this new generation of substance abuse. Every day the kids can leave school go get stoned and come back and that is exactly what is happening daily there. We need to close the open campus put a full time dog in the school and allow for random searches of back packs. Yes this seems extreme, but if they can find the next drug dealer everyone would be thrilled. Letting CHILDREN have all this freedom when what they really need are boundaries baffles me. I suggest that you have a mandatory drug and alcohol test for every child that plays a sport, is in a club or represents NCHS in any fashion. The first test is non punitive but in random testing if it happens again, they should be suspended from representing our school for 60 days… That my friends will send a message to the kids that this is not legal,and will not be tolerated. These kids have no consequence for bad behavior …shame on the parents and the schools allowing this to continue. One death to an overdose is a tragic, six means we have a serious problem in this town.

  3. This was proposed years ago in Darien and to my recollection, one of the reasons they do not send K-9s in unannounced is that, in schools that have, they have caught too many teachers with illegal substances and it opens up a whole can of worms with the union disciplinary procedures etc. They found that that alone made it not worth the effort.

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