Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prepare for an emergency?
I have recently moved into town or moved within town. Do I need to register or re-register my alarm system?
Yes. Alarm registration and re-registration must be done with the police department.
Are meetings of the Police Commission open to the public?

Yes. The Police Commission meetings are scheduled for the third Wednesday of every month. If a citizen has an issue they would like to bring before the Commission, they should call the Chief’s Administrative Assistant, Jennifer Mardorf at 203 594 3512, to be placed on the agenda.

When is the Police Department "open for business"?
The department is staffed by officers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Specific offices such as Investigations, Youth, Training, Records, or Property have individual hours Monday – Friday.
To contact those offices call the routine Police Department number 203 594 3500.
Who is it that answers emergency 911 calls?
A patrol officer who has received dispatch training answers all calls that come into headquarters (911 emergency and routine). Residents are reminded to use 911 for emergency purposes only.
I notice there is a stop sign missing from a busy intersection. Who do I notify?
For public hazard issues such as this you should call the police dispatcher on the routine phone line at 203 594 3500.
Who approves requests for speed limit or stop signs?
Requests for new signage should be directed to the Police Commission as they are the local traffic authority and need to approve such requests.
I see that the Department has instituted a bicycle patrol. Has there been a review to determine the effectiveness of the program?
The Department currently has 5 officers who have completed a rigorous training course to be a certified bike patrol officer. The Department utilizes three bicycles for patrol, and officers will normally ride on shift duty for a majority of the year and on special events (Family Fourth, parades, etc). Police bicycle patrols have proven to be an effective way to improve community-policing relationships. They also allow an officer to patrol more effectively than on the traditional walking beat.
If there is a vacancy for a police officer, what are the procedures for filling that vacancy?
The Department has a proactive recruitment effort and visits up to 20 colleges, universities, and job fairs yearly. The testing process consists of a written exam, physical agility test, peer interview, polygraph examination, Police Commission interview, medical and psychological testing and a background investigation. Once hired, the new officer must complete 26 weeks at the State-run police academy, a 10-week field training program back at the Department and a probationary period.
I have heard that some towns have an auxiliary police force. Is there such a unit in New Canaan?
No. The Special Police unit was disbanded in the early 1980s in response to training requirements set by the State.
At an emergency scene (traffic accident, fire, etc.), what factors determine who is "in charge"?
State statute in most cases. At the scene of a traffic accident or fire, the ranking Fire Department officer at the scene is in charge.
Does the New Canaan Police Department have a program for the fingerprinting of small children?
If you would like your child fingerprinted, contact the Department’s Youth Sergeant. In addition, this service is periodically provided by the Department at special events in the community.
I frequently see a regular police officer directing traffic at a private construction site. Who pays the wages for this service?
The contractor is responsible for paying an hourly rate for the officer hired plus a small administrative fee to the Town of New Canaan. The officer is paid his/her hourly rate through the Town Finance Department.
How does one go about obtaining a handicapped parking permit?
Handicapped parking permits can be obtained by calling the Motor Vehicle Department or visiting the Connecticut State Web site.
Is the local Police Department involved in the program notifying residents when a previously convicted sexual offender moves into the neighborhood?
Statutory changes in 1999 prohibit the dissemination of information concerning the individual to the public. There are provisions for limited dissemination by a Police Department (e.g., if a convicted sex offender moves into a nursery school neighborhood). These exceptions would be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Why is there only one officer assigned to a patrol car as opposed to two?
Based on the number and types of calls for service the Department receives, one-officer patrol cars are the most effective. Consideration would be given to having 2 officer patrol cars to respond to special events or patrol circumstances.
How many of our police officers live in town?
Two Department members currently reside in New Canaan. Almost all of the other officers live within Fairfield County. This factor has no effect on the day-to-day operations of the Department and has not been a factor when officers have been called to respond to the Department in the event of an emergency.
How does one file a complaint against an officer of the Department for improper conduct?
The Department has procedures in place that can be initiated by contacting the Department at the non-emergency number, 203 594 3500, and speaking to the Shift Commander. Depending on the circumstances of the complaint, the Shift Commander may resolve the complaint with the agreement of the complainant or initiate a formal civilian complaint procedure. The civilian complaint would then be investigated following the Department’s Internal Affairs policies. The Department will always notify the complainant of the findings once the investigation is complete. To learn about filing a complaint, Click Here
What does the Town do with all the monies collected from the traffic citations the police issue?
The Records Division submits all infraction tickets issued by the police department to the State of Connecticut’s Centralized Infractions Bureau (CIB). Quarterly, the State of Connecticut makes a return payment to the Town of New Canaan for a percentage of those fees collected.
What is the most common complaint made to the Police Department?
Most of the normal complaints the Department receives have to do with speeding or traffic concerns in neighborhoods.
How many officers work at the New Canaan Police Department?
The department has 50 sworn police officers, 5 full time civilian personnel and 2 part-time personnel. There are always between 5-8 officers working everyday on each of the three work shifts. Officers also staff Investigative, Youth and Training offices.
Why are the police establishing seatbelt checkpoints?
The main goal in establishing the checkpoints is to voluntarily have the driving public wear their seatbelt and lower the injury rate in motor vehicle accidents. Currently, we are experiencing an 85% – 90% voluntary compliance rate in seatbelt usage. Voluntary compliance is the first step in reducing injuries in accidents. The Department has seen an overall decrease in the number of injuries as a result of motor vehicle accidents since the inception of the checkpoints.
I see that the Department is Accredited. What does that mean?
Accreditation of a law enforcement agency is similar to the programs colleges, universities, and hospitals must undergo to attain Accredited status. We are inspected every three years by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (C.A.L.E.A.) to insure compliance with over 400 standards covering the policies, procedures, and practices within the Police Department.
What is the situation with drugs in New Canaan?
Any type of drug available in any community is present in New Canaan with alcohol still being the most commonly abused substance.
What should I do if I have information concerning criminal activity taking place in New Canaan?
If you are a witness to a crime in progress, call 911 immediately and provide the dispatcher with the information requested. If you have information concerning a crime that has been or will be committed, call the dispatcher or come to the department in person and briefly explain the information you have. You will be directed to the appropriate division within the Department.