Editor's note: The following commentary was written by the top officers of the New Canaan Police Department.

Written on each New Canaan police vehicle is the motto "protect and serve." These simple words are what the men and women of our department do exceptionally well. Moreover, our new department mission statement is: "To protect and serve our community with courage, professionalism and integrity." Our officers fulfill this mission every day.

Although New Canaan is an exceptionally safe town for our residents, due in large part to the work of our officers, it is not so safe for our officers. In 2014, across our nation, 114 officers were killed in the line of duty. This trending-up concerns us gravely. With the recent assassination of two New York City police officers and increased threats and violence directed at anyone who wears a police uniform, we must remain vigilant both as a town and as a department.

We have no doubt that our town enjoys a very low crime rate due to the tireless work of our officers. Yet, we have seen an increase in career criminals coming to our town to commit crimes. Thanks to our dedicated officers, 2014 saw the arrests of many criminals who made the foolish choice to prey upon our town.

Our officers are often put at risk, are exposed to a variety of threats and are expected to make split-second decisions that involve life and death.

Often our officers are not properly recognized for the great work they do. Of the approximately 16,000 incidents that our officers handle each year, some of these incidents are violent and put our officers in harm's way. Yet, our officers consistently handle these incidents with great skill, bravery and dedication.

When you see our officers, thank them for what they do, the risks they take, and the way they "protect and serve" our town.

Leon Krolikowski, chief of police

Vincent DeMaio, captain of operations

John DiFederico, captain of staff services