Support for an

NCPD K9 unit

To the Editor:

We are writing in support of the reinstatement of a K9 program at the New Canaan Police Department. The presence of such a unit will be a valuable tool in finding missing persons and hidden evidence, apprehending criminals, preventing crime and making our community safe. Additionally, by participating in community events such as the Family Fourth, the Special Olympics Run and Teen Center events, the K9 unit will provide an excellent outreach and educational tool for our police department.

This fall, the police department was awarded a $12,000 state grant to re-establish the program. The police department is now seeking private donations to defray the ongoing expenses of such a unit.

We encourage the residents and businesses of New Canaan to support this worthy cause by sending your tax deductible contribution to the New Canaan Police Department, 174 South Ave., New Canaan, CT 06840 with "Town of New Canaan K9 Fund" in the memo line.

Paula Kennedy Harrigan

and Judy Stephan

Co-Chairwomen

Friends of Spencer's Run

Police initiative to

promote bus stop safety

To the Editor:

Last week the New Canaan Police Department, in coordination with Board of Education, announced the implementation of an important new law enforcement and driver education initiative, Operation Safe School Bus Stop. The initiative is designed to counter a growing and dangerous trend: drivers illegally passing stopped school buses.

The new enforcement measures by the police department will include assigning officers to ride on school buses to spot violations, assigning officers in unmarked vehicles to follow buses, and working with the our school district transportation coordinator and drivers to identify and prosecute motorists caught passing stopped buses.

Whether due to on-the-road cell phone usage (or worse, text messaging) or simply because we live in a world with increased time commitments and decreased patience levels, the incidence of illegal school bus passing is rising both nationally and locally. The consequences can be severe. One example: A 6-year-old girl and her 7-year-old sister were both struck and almost killed in Arkansas in late October. Just two days later, in nearby Hartford, a car that attempted to pass a school bus illegally actually hit the bus, causing the driver to be hospitalized.

Operation Safe School Bus Stop is designed to highlight this activity and educate the public to the very real dangers that it poses. Passing a school bus is not simply a moving violation -- it is a potentially deadly crime.

All school buses used in the district are equipped with video cameras which capture activity outside as well as inside of our buses. The police department has stated that passing a stopped school bus is a "zero-tolerance crime" and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The department has also indicated that names and addresses of motorists charged will be reported to the local press.

The school district and the police department will make a joint presentation to the board concerning this issue at our Jan. 11 meeting. The presentation will include a review of examples of actual illegal school bus passings. I've seen the videos and they are disturbing.

Our board meetings are televised on a delayed basis on Channel 78 on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Monday afternoons at 4 p.m. If you can't attend in person, you might want to tune in for this one. It will truly be must-see TV.

Nick Williams

Chairman

New Canaan Board of Education

Hockey thanks those who supported annual event

To the Editor:

New Canaan Ice Hockey would like to thank all those who financially supported and attended this year's 30th Larry Tomaselli Annual Alumni Ice Hockey Game.

All proceeds will be used to pay for the expenses not covered by the athletic budget for the junior varsity and varsity ice hockey teams. This event continues to be so successful because of our loyal fans, alumni players and the fall hockey league players.

We are grateful to the staffs at the Darien Ice Rink, Waveny House and the New Canaan News.

We wish to acknowledge Franco's Wine Merchants and the Veggie Barn for supplying refreshments for the past 30 years; William Pitt Sotheby's International Realty for the ballons; Athletic Director Jay Egan and his assistant, Anne Tomaselli; Alumni Lindsey Wilczynski, for her beautiful rendition of our national anthem; Bob's Sports; Jamie Tropsa of BlueLine Sports; and H. King Chapin, who donated the T-shirts that were presented to each player.

Sincere thanks to Tony Ceci and Don Polchinski of RSM McGladrey, Inc./McGladrey & Pullen L.P. for continuing to prepare the tax returns for our non-profit organization.

Fiz Tomaselli

Secretary