As thousands of Greenwich parents prepare their children for this week's start of the new school year, Police Chief James Heavey has an assignment for them—keep their children safe and teach them to act responsibly by being responsible themselves.
In a two-page letter to parents, Heavey reminds parents "our children learn by watching us" and "one of the most signifiant things we do as parents is to set a good example. ... Small things can make a huge difference in what our kids learn."
Heavey says he decided to write the letter as he and his wife readied their two children for middle school this week. "I had some things on my mind as my own family got ready for school—like giving yourself enough time to deal with traffic getting to school. I thought it would be good to put some of that information out."
The chief added, "We're so lucky with the near misses. If people can be in less of a hurry, it would make it so much safer for everyone including yourself."
Heavey writes on the laws regarding seat belt and child safety seats, traffic laws including cellphone use and parking in fire lanes. (The chief's complete letter is at right.)
And Heavey issued a reminder that the department "will be out in force, at and near schools, to enforce speed limits and other traffic safety laws in the coming weeks." As the department has done previously, officers will be on the lookout for drivers who pass stopped school buses—an infraction which carries a $450 fine.