Wow it was some meeting last night. We heard from a variety of speakers.
Connecticut Against Gun Violence http://www.cagv.org/ - They are a group that advocates targeted gun control laws. They have two issues that they are working on now. One is to pass a law in Hartford stating that a person must report their gun stolen or missing within 72 hours that it should be know missing. This is because we have kids who have no legal right to own a gun committing crimes with guns. This brings up the question where are the underage kids getting the guns from? Many times a gun is traced back to a person who when confronted by the police says “My gun was stolen”. This brings up the question if it was stolen a while ago why is it only being reported now? This law is going to close that loophole because we know that many people are buying a gun legally and then sell it on the street and then when confronted they claim that it was lost or stolen. This bill failed last year in the House by 7 votes. The language was changed so that if someone who is away will not be held liable for not reporting the gun stolen from the time of the theft but 72 hours from when the person is aware of it.
The CAGV rep then spoke about a program that is trying to “Raise a Red Flag” asking the question Where are the Guns Coming from? If we are able to trace illegal drugs back to Turkey or Columbia why can’t we trace a gun back to who was the last legal owner? They are working with Hartford and will be working with the New Haven PD as well to raise awareness of this issue.
We then heard from an East Rock State Rep Bob Menga http://www.cga.ct.gov/hdo/097/ about Planned Development Districts (PDD) and the trials and tribulations that they went through to get their voices heard in the process. Do a search on www.newhavenindepend.org to learn more about those and what they went through.
We in the WEB area are going to have Whalley Avenue set up with an overlay zone so we better keep an eye on what is going on and make sure that we are part of the process. From what I understand of PDDs that they give the City greater controller over the Zoning in the district but that in some cases it can loosen the regulation. What do you think of PDDs?
We then heard from a group about the trash haulers ordinance and asked for us to come out and support them tonight at the Legislative Committee hearing at 6pm in the Aldermanic Chamber, City Hall, 165 Church Street. I see the need for the regulation but we should have some leeway in allowing the haulers downtown in the early AM so we don’t clog downtown during the day. If we need real enforcement lets talk to the PD and Corporation Counsel and see what we can legally enforce and how to enforce it.
Our District Manager Sergeant Shea then gave his monthly breakdown of the robberies, burglaries, break-ins, shooting, reports of gun fire. They seem to be going down – but some of it could be weather related (crime drops in the colder weather), but some of it was part of the targeted enforcement that we are putting into place in the Whalley – Winthrop – Sherman area.
Then came the star of the night – Chief of Police Cisco Ortiz. Carl & I asked the Chief to come down to the meeting and speak to us about the recent FBI sting of a few New Haven Police Officers. He spoke about what happened and what is going to happen (for more details check out www.newhavenindepend.org. The Team asked some hard questions. Why the Comanders of the Narcotic Division weren’t not rotated as the officers were? What will happen to Drug Enforcement in New Haven now? I believe that the Chief answered the questions candidly and honestly – and when he was unable to answer he said that.
I am of the opinion that the overwhelming majority of the force are good hard working people who truly try to Serve & Protect us. I understand that there will most probably be more arrests and indictments, but I hope that we learn from the mistakes made here and that we can continue down our path of community policing and truly make New Haven a safer and more livable City in partnership with Sergeant Shea and the rest of the NHPD.
After that we got a report from Nan that FoBPP have a new partner in the Environmental Futurist of SCSU.
There were some new announcements –
The follow up meeting to the WEB Vision session will be held this Thursday at Hillhouse 7pm (I have a Finance Committee meeting so I wont be attending – but let me know what happens)
I am setting up a Budget 101 Workshop to explain the budget process and how the budget affects the taxes you pay. The tentative date & time is Monday March 26th 7pm at Hillhouse High cafeteria.