LETTER: Keep Cops on Greenwich Avenue

Letter to the editor Berrin Snyder, Lifelong Greenwich Resident

There continues to be an abundance of activity reported on our police blotter, and much of it involves traffic and parking incidents, robbery, and possession of illegal substances in or near downtown Greenwich. And yet we have decided to cut three police officers from the force with, admittedly, a substantial annual savings of approximately $250,000.

I support fiscal conservatism, but is this really where we should cut spending? These three officers will include the two officers on Greenwich Avenue directing traffic and keeping us all safe. It is a widely held view that these officers do not only add to the charming image of our town, but they prevent accidents on The Avenue where traffic is so congested and much more aggressive than in previous years, when we had three officers on The Avenue.

I am a vigilant and conservative driver, and yet I recently escaped several near accidents with drivers not paying attention to traffic on or around Greenwich Avenue. Last Thursday afternoon, I was driving on Greenwich Avenue and stopped at the stop sign at Lewis Street. It was my turn to continue through and as I slowly moved forward, a car came flying into the intersection and would have plowed right into me if I hadn’t stopped just in time. A few days later, I was traveling up Mason Street and about to pass through a green light at Amogerone Crossway, when another car came slowly down Amogerone, but then accelerated onto Mason Street, running their red light.

I have also had (and witnessed other) many close calls crossing the crosswalks at Lewis Street. No one knows when to go and when to stop. It’s just a matter of time until someone gets hit. I used to work in Cherry Creek Denver, which is similar to Greenwich but even smaller, where traffic travels even more slowly. They have stop signs and traffic calming measures in place. One day outside my office I saw a dead man lying in the intersection, yellow tape, and a small white van parked, with the driver sitting on the curb, with his head in his hands, crying.

Our retail employees need to feel safe. People need to feel comfortable walking and driving downtown, or they will continue to choose the malls and internet over Greenwich Avenue. For retail to flourish on The Avenue, people need to be drawn to a unique, and safe, and special place if we want them to spend their hard-earned dollars here.

Having Greenwich Police Officers on The Avenue also promotes good relations between our residents and our police force.

If you cherish all that makes our town unique and special, and feel that the number of our highly educated and extremely capable police officers should not be cut, and should be retained on Greenwich Avenue, then please let our Selectmen and our Board of Estimate and Taxation know how you feel.

Respectfully Submitted,
Berrin Snyder, Lifelong Greenwich Resident