Open letter for First Selectman Fred Camillo submitted by Susan Oliver Whitney, Greenwich
I respectfully direct your attention to your administration’s policy regarding the removal of our Greenwich Police officers from their duties directing traffic on Greenwich AVenue.
I speak on behalf of many residents and shopkeepers when I advise you that this policy is having an adverse effect both in terms of safety and quality of life for Greenwich residents, shopkeepers and visitors alike.
• It is a well known fact that the sheer presence of police officers on the streets directing traffic or on foot patrol, reduces crime and maintains civic order. (Ref: NYPD commissioners Wm Bratton and Ray Kelly.)
• Police officers directing traffic on the Avenue bring a sense of civility to our Town, which sets us apart from other Towns and this is why many of us choose to live here.
• When our traffic officers are physically on the Avenue, they can see first hand the “heart beat” of our Town and report back to central any irregularities.
• Police officers on the Avenue are our “Good Will Ambassadors,” to both our residents and visitors.
• Traffic police officers on the Avenue, specifically “Rookies” develop valuable interpersonal skills, which they otherwise may not develop cruising in a patrol car. (This “crash course” too is at no financial expense to the tax payers.)
• Traffic police officers on the Avenue provide a valuable opportunity for residents to develop rapport and good will with each other which they might not otherwise have. Residents too can express their concerns, which are done regularly with the traffic police officers and those other officers guarding the many jewelry stores on the Avenue.
• It is an unpublished truth that the majority of Greenwich Police officers like directing traffic on the Avenue for reasons that have been articulated here. Furthermore, this practice is not obsolete, as some have suggested, but rather a necessity.
• Finally, there has been a tremendous influx of cars and pedestrians coming to visit from Westchester due to Covid and the opening of the “street mall.” This has resulted in many more pedestrians and cars on the Avenue. Traffic laws such as yielding to pedestrians and stopping at stop signs are blatantly being ignored. A very good reason to bring back our traffic police officers to the Avenue.
For the aforementioned reasons, please reconsider your position and reinstate teh traffic officers to Greenwich Avenue. They are an asset to our community, both in terms of our safety and quality of life.
Thank you as always for your time and courtesies.
Susan Oliver Whitney