Playing it safe: Emergency preparedness, distracted driving crackdown and a citizens academy

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Check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NorwalkOEM

NORWALK, Conn. – Forewarned is forearmed, and that is what various Norwalk public safety agencies are hoping people will take advantage of this month.

Whether its getting an inside look at policing, being made aware of the dangers of distracted driving (hint – the dangers include damage to your wallet), or learning to be ready when emergencies strike, there is plenty to find out this month in Norwalk.

September is National Preparedness Month

The Norwalk Fire Department-Office of Emergency Management is urging residents to become better informed during the month of September for National Preparedness Month. From house fires to hurricanes, now is the time to make sure Norwalk residents and businesses are ready for any emergency.

Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month aims to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters, fires and potential terrorist attacks, according to a press release from Norwalk Deputy Director of Emergency Management Michele DeLuca.

Each week in September will focus on a different aspect of emergency preparedness.

  • Sept. 1-7, “How to Reconnect with Family after a Disaster.” Be sure that your family members know how to use text messaging on their phones, and know the number of an out-of-state family member or friend to contact. These options can be easier when local phone service is affected. Visit this website to learn more.
  • Sept. 8-14, “Know How to Plan for Specific Needs before a Disaster.” This is an important topic for all families, especially those with children, pets, disabled individuals or others with special medical needs who may need extra help during an emergency. For more information, see this website.
  • Sept. 15-21, “How to Build an Emergency Kit.” Kits are vital to have after an emergency. You and your family might have to shelter at home without power or phone service for several days, while first responders help people in greater need. A smaller kit (“go kit”) is important in case you need to evacuate. Have all family members help pack your kit, and include their favorite non-perishable foods. To learn more about what to put in your kit, visit this website.
  • Sept. 22-30, “How to Practice for an Emergency.” From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, the Norwalk Fire, Public Works and Police Departments will sponsor our annual Open House and Touch-a-truck at the DPW Work Center on South Smith Street. This is a great opportunity to learn more about safety and preparedness, practice your fire escape plan in the NFD Smoke Trailer and much more.

The NFD-OEM also encourages residents to volunteer to help the city respond to and recover from disasters. A free Norwalk Disaster Reserve Volunteer training will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Norwalk Fire Department. To register or learn more, contact DeLuca at (203) 854-0238 or [email protected]
Cracking down on distracted driving

The Norwalk Police will be conducting distracted driving enforcement from Wednesday Sept. 3 through Friday Sept.19. Police will be making a concerted effort to enforce Connecticut’s hand-held cell phone ban.

The National Highway Safety Administration and the Connecticut Department of Transportation is funding 75% of the cost for enforcement efforts. The Connecticut Department of Transportation selected Norwalk through crash data analysis that identified Norwalk as having a high number of crashes because of driver distraction.

During the enforcement period, there will be a substantially increased chance of receiving a State infraction for violating this statute. The fine for a first offense is $150 and a second offense is $300.


Take part in the next Citizens Police Academy

The Norwalk Department of Police Service is offering the Citizens’ Police Academy starting Sept. 10. The academy aims to help participants establish a better understanding of the role of the police department in the community.

The academy can accommodate up to 40 community residents who will participate in classes designed to take them through the different aspects of law enforcement.

In addition to the classes, participants will have the opportunity to experience a “ride along” with a supervisor or field training officer from Patrol Division.

Class participants will meet once a week and learn about the different divisions, specialized units, our state and federal partners and how the department operates. The feedback between participants and officers has been positive. The class gives everyone an opportunity to exchange information about the issues that concern their community.

To inquire about participating in the academy, contact Norwalk Police Community Services Sgt. Terry Blake at (203) 854-3197.


4 responses to “Playing it safe: Emergency preparedness, distracted driving crackdown and a citizens academy”

  1. WOW just WOW

    Maybe the Norwalk Police should crack down on the Norwalk Police with distracted driving..Every time a ride by a Norwalk cop he or she has the cell phone glued to their ear. I find it hard to believe these are all emergence calls.. Also let us not forget the cops that are driving and looking down while texting.
    Its called leading by example.. Maybe the NPD should try it sometime. Of course we could always request a freedom of information for the cell phone bill that us taxpayer are paying, and see who they have been talking to

  2. piethein

    Yeah, and stop having those Mississippi / Alabama / Georgia style hidden speed traps on Highland Ave at 11:30 am with multiple pursuit patrol cars and Harleys. Even the school buses don’t go 20 MPH in that area. Most of us go 25 – 30 and are well aware that there are 3 schools in that stretch.

  3. EveT

    I hope the residents who were complaining last week about police officers’ attitudes and disparate treatment of minorities will take advantage of the Citizens’ Police Academy. This is a golden opportunity to improve communication between police and residents. Sure, it is set up to present things from the police viewpoint, but if residents meet them halfway and get a better idea of that viewpoint, it can only help with communication in the future.

  4. WOW just WOW

    You seem to forget that the police work for us and not the other way around. We the taxpayer pay their exuberant salary. So in other words the police need to always treat the taxpayer with respect. Their attitudes and treatment of citizens is unacceptable .

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