CITY SUPPORTS INCREASED COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN NEIGHBORHOODS
(7/9/2007) NEW HAVEN- Members of the Whalley-Edgewood-Beaver Hills neighborhoods gathered for a media event this morning calling for a heightened community policing. While commending the efforts of the district’s manager, Sgt. Steven Shea and acknowledging the cooperation of New Haven Police, organizers asked for more police officers on walking beats and bicycles in the community as well as increased community participation.
“We’re doing a lot right now that is making a real difference,” said Robert Smuts, Chief Administrative Officer. “We’re constantly addressing changing crime patterns. We understand that shootings are up and that makes people feel less safe. This is unfortunately a national trend but it is important to know that New Haven is doing more than just about any other City to address this.”
The New Haven Police Department follows a community policing model that has proven effective since its implementation in the mid 1990’s. The current model has achieved a 10 percent drop in crime when compared to this time last year and a dramatic decrease in all Part 1 crimes over the past 10 years.
“I am well aware of the problems we are facing in our neighborhoods and the City is committed to working in partnership with neighbors to find solutions,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “We are looking forward to adding a 31 new officers to our force who will engage in walking beats and will be very visible beginning in September. We are also currently running a recruitment campaign to bring in another 45 officers to train in the academy in the spring. This is an issue that I am very seriously. But, three things need to happen here: while we are working on getting more officers out there, we also need the community to take a more active role in their neighborhoods by participating in block watches and by working with us to identify potential issues. We need to engage a small number of young people who too quickly result to violence to resolve minor disputes.”
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