Wednesday, July 11, 2007

State of Community Policing in New Haven Today...

Dear All:

With everything going in Police District 10 – the WEB area, I have been giving some though about the current state of Community Policing we find ourselves in now.

Our fair city is covers a wide area and a diverse social & economic range. Our ward is a good representation of this. The reality is that the lower part of the ward has different policing needs the upper part. But both parts need to have more of a police presence.

One thing I like about our ward and the WEB Management Team is the fact that overall this is a pretty intelligent group. We understand the problems and limitations that we face and the Police Department faces. Some of them are:

The fact is that the city is in the midst of a budget crisis and that we have a very generous benefit package that makes it difficult to afford to hirer more officers.

The force is down over 100 officers from the height under Nick Pastore

I have been hearing that the partnerships with the various State agencies – such as DCF – are weak and the rapport that we once had is not there

Federal grant dollars are substantially less and harder to obtain

The above leads us to the current crisis that we are now in.

Officers are getting burnt out. When an officer would rather not work the earn overtime we have a problem. Also the good and deserving officers can’t move up in the ranks or we risk even further depleting the force on the street.

With a smaller force there is no way that we can have the coverage that we once did – no ifs ands or buts.

Our partner State agencies are not as focused on us and now a large part of the NHPD’s calls are for domestic abuse cases. What used to be dealt with by DCF or other agency is now falling on the shoulders of our cops.

When we used to get many millions of dollars in direct and indirect grants from the Federal Government under COPS and other such programs what few thousand dollars we do get we are happy for

The question now is what can we expect from our Police Department and Chief of Police. I want to know what you think. Please post a comment to or email me at

Yours in service,

Moti Sandman

1 comment:

Tony Traductor said...


I´m new to the neighborhood. I moved my family here in April.
I have met Nan Barstow, and look forward to meeting my other new neighbors.
I finally made it to a WEB meeting last night at the Police post, where I ¨met¨ Peaches Quinn and Bob Caplan,
and Chief Ortiz, and Eleizer Greer and other members of the community.
I phoned Eleizer Greer today to ask about the patrols and what I can do to be proactive in
helping make our neighborhood more secure.
I understand that there USED to be a block watch here.
I am interested in either being part of reinitiating a block watch, or,
being part of initiating a partol in our neck of the woods (the Whalley to Beaver Park area), as it were.
Personally, I don´t own any firearms. I support the rights of other patrols to be armed, if that is what they wish, but, I am not interested in carrying a firearm. I´m just interested in making our neighbiorhood safer.
Young Greer recommends a patrol, being a more proactive approach, but I am willing
to go as far as my neighbors are willing to cooperate, whether a block watch or patrol, or what have you.
I think a patrol, armed with nothing more than a cell phone and a camera, maybe mace, I don´t know, would be sufficient.
Tazer and firearms don´t interest me too much, like I said, although I support the rights of others to use them, within the law,
if they judge it appropriate.
I also think better lighting on our streets at night would be helpful.
Statistics show, better lighting = less crime.
My family has been robbed twice since moving here in April, and my wife´s car has been vandalized, and I have been threatened by hooded thugs trespassing on our (rented) yard at all hours of the day and night.
We find little drug baggies on the sidewalk in and around our area.
We read the news, and we don´t like what we read.
All the same, I like the area. My daughter and I rollerskate around and walk around the neighborhood, frequent local businesses, climb West Rock, enjoy the Edgewood Park, the other parks, and the few neighbors we´ve met. We´d like to stay here. My daughter is enrolled in St. Brendan´s, a very good school. I like my office.
But my family needs to be safe and secure, and our privacy and our property need to be better protected.
My wife quit her job, because she felt she was risking her life leaving the house at 4:30 am to commute.
One morning she found that her tire had been punctured, apparently with a knife, and had to stop on Whalley
ave at 5am and call me to come and change her tire. She stayed in her car, fearful for her safety.
I must say, the police have been very responsive when we´ve called, and very helpful, but, unfortunately, the
young men walking through our yard, vandalizing our property, and robbing us don´t stick around and wait for the police to
come, and, thus, it is difficult for the police to succeed in making much of a change.
I understand that they´re working with limited resources, which I find shameful.
We´ve asked our landlord to construct a fence, too, but they´ve been unresponsive.
They want to leave our yard open as a pathway to the Jewish Youth center on Norton Street.
I don´t think that´s fair to us, at all, since it also leave us open to drug dealer and gang hoodlums,
who walk through at night, steal or property, vandalize our vehicle, peer in through our windows,
and generally leave us feeling violated.
We rent, don´t own, so I´m not sure what our rights are in that respect.
So, I ask myself, what can I do? I won´t stand by with my hands in my pockets.
I´m willing to be a part of initiating action to make changes.
I am willing to be part of initiating a new block watch or a patrol in our neighborhood.
I can be reached at 203-507-2575, 860-235-8233 or
Alternatively, knock on my door. I´m at 357 Ellsworth, and spend about 15 hours a day in my office facing the street.
On the rare occasion that I´m not there, I´m at one of our State´s courts interpreting, but that occurs, on average, 3 or 4 times
a month...Or, I´m out chasing my daughter on rollerskates.
I don´t know well how to contact many of my neighbors. I seem to have made it onto a e-mail list, and
have received notices, but haven´t figured out how to send to the list.
I made an entry to the forum, but there seems to be no response, yet.
I want to know my neighbors, and I want to cooperate with them, actively, to make this a safer place.