Calls to the New Canaan Police Department were the fewest since 2008, according to the department's 2011 annual report.
Still, with 15,961 calls for the year, it averages out to more than 43 calls per day.
Arrests were the fewest they have been in at least the past five years, at 174, down more than 10 percent from 2010. This could be a result of the decrease in calls or, "Sometimes when we're effective in our enforcement, we don't need to make arrests," NCPD Capt. Leon Krolikowski said.
Narcotics arrests increased in 2010 and 2011, with 32 incidents both years, as opposed to an average of 20.7 from 2007 to 2009. Krolikowski attributes this to the police dog the force employed in 2011. The dog, Zira, has now retired, and the force is looking for a replacement.
Police received 76 domestic violence complaints, resulting in 41 arrests. In 2007, there were 138 reported incidents, which resulted in 40 arrests. In 2011, 54 percent of the domestic violence reports resulted in an arrest, whereas from 2007 to 2010 period, an average of 33 percent of incidents resulted in arrests.
While many cities and towns see a rise in crime during a bad economy, the opposite occurred in New Canaan last year. New Canaan saw a decrease in arrests when the S&P 500 finished lower and an increase in crime when the S&P finished strong.
Traffic stops were markedly lower in 2011 at 4,667. In 2010, there were 6,934 stops, a difference of 32 percent. Krolikowski said this is due partly to staffing.
"In 2011, we saw a fair amount of injuries and limited staffing," he said. "In 2010, we had a full-time traffic officer; I'd like to see that come back again when we get our staffing up."
Arrests for driving under the influence decreased significantly each of the five years from 2007 to 2011. In 2007, there were 83 arrests, compared to 24 in 2011, a 71 percent decrease.
"We hope this is due to education and that people know we're enforcing the law," Krolikowski said. "Ideally, we'd like to make no arrests. Hopefully, the message (about drunk driving's dangers) has gotten out there. It has taken 30 or 40 years, but it seems to have. Twenty years ago we had roughly 150 (DUI arrests per year). Also, courts have gotten more severe in dealing with offenses, especially second offenses. There's also MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). We don't see that many people anymore that are arrested multiple times for DUI."
The NCPD has been successful in its prescription drug-disposal program. In a statistic that may give pause to anyone not in the pharmaceutical industry, a bin the cops put in the ground floor of the police station was filled with 139 pounds of prescription drugs in 2011. The bin was the main part of their program to remove unused drugs from people's medicine cabinets. The department expects the numbers to decrease in the coming year as residents will have exhausted their unused medication after a period of time.
In light of the Ponus Ridge Road break-in, New Canaanites might be happy to hear that the department offers closed-house checks for residents who will be out of town for more than a week. Officers swing by houses on the list to make sure they're secure.
"The house is periodically checked. It's a deterrent. It gives people peace of mind," Krolikowski said.
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