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    Office Of The Mayor
    Trying To Make Sense of It All

    There is a lot to say and discuss this week - both good and bad. Last week an unthinkable tragedy took place in Sandy Hook Elementary School which will no doubt forever scar all Americans.

    The world watched as the tragic news unfolded of one senseless death after another was confirmed. There was and remains little that can be said to ease the shock and pain that everyone carries in their heart from that unthinkable tragedy in Newtown.

    We all shared in the pain together as one. We all ask the same two questions: "why" and "how could anyone do this?" This is an issue that effects us here in New Haven as well. Guns are an issue here. How could anyone forget that last year there were 32-gun related homicides in the city?

    I visited our schools yesterday to watch dismissals and to listen to what faculty had to say. From anyone's viewpoint it was obvious that New Haven schools are on heighten security levels this week. Our schools are being visited more often by police officers and police presence in the neighborhood around schools has increased. Teachers and staff are vigilant in the classrooms and halls. And parents are spending just a little more time saying "good-bye" to students when dropping them off.

    Speaking with teachers and principals they reported to me a mixed bag of how much our children knew about the tragedy or looked to talk about it. It was clear to me that there was a deep desire from our educators to provide an atmosphere of safety and normalcy in the classrooms. I cannot express to you all the appreciation I feel for the job done by our teachers and our public safety officers in the line work which they all preform.

    I have also asked that the Community Services Administrator work with Finance Department to make available to City employees the ability to preform a one-time, voluntary payroll reduction to go to charities which are aiding the families of the victims in Newtown.

    Further, I believe that the best way we can honor the memory of those lost, both in Newtown and those lost to gun violence in New Haven, is for America and Connecticut to have a real conversation and strengthen gun laws. As such, the City will continue lobbying efforts both at the federal and state levels to enact stronger gun laws to help prevent future gun violence. If you are interested in being part of efforts to make change please contact Rebecca Bombero at rbombero@newhavenct.net.

    On a lighter note, I was very proud to swear-in 28 new police officers last night at Wilbur Cross High School. These new officers will continue to grow the ranks of the NHPD, furthering missions of neighborhood patrols, walking beats and community policing. Read my remarks here.

    This week we will be announcing the creation of a new "Command College" for police supervisors. A federal grant will permit the University of New Haven, Yale University and the New Haven Police Department to establish the first statewide "Command College" leadership school for police. The "Command College" is expected to become a national model.
    [12/18/2012]


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