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Fernandez Plan for Crime Reduction PDF

Fernandez Plan for Crime Reduction PDF

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08/20/2013

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Henry Fernandez’s Plan to
 Reduce Crime in the City of New Haven
August 20, 2013
The last nine days have seen an incredible amount of violence in New Haven:
 
Police were shot at while investigating a robbery on Saturday, August 17
th
outside ClubVandome.
 
18 year old Devaante Jackson was shot and killed at Rosette and Hurlburt streets in theHill on Thursday, August 15
th
.
 
22 year old Torrance Dawkins was shot and killed at the Cheetah Club on East Street onSunday August 11
th
.
 
23 year old Jordan Rampert was shot outside Lincoln Bassett School in Newhallville onSunday, August 11
th
. He survived.
 
A 41 year old man was shot in the face at Dixwell and Henry Streets in Dixwell onSunday, August 11th. He survived.
 
An 18 year old was shot at Farnam Courts on Grand and Hamilton Streets on Monday,August 12
th
. He survived.We need a comprehensive response to this violence. Young adults are dying. Children are beinginfluenced to make bad choices. Our neighborhoods are at risk of being undermined. And our  police officers are being shot at.
These are all unacceptable. A Mayor’s job starts with ensuring that the people of the City of 
 New Haven are safe.
It is also a Mayor’s job to ensure that police officers are able to return to
their families safely every day. Anyone who shoots at a police officer must go to prison for avery long time.Henry believes that to fulfill the vision of a unified New Haven as One City, crime reduction
can’t be limited to unilateral action by law enforcement or simply having more police
officers on patrol. Efforts to reduce crime are most successful when they proactively engage affectedcommunities.
This means that neighborhood residents must be made active partners with “a seatat the table” and a voice in determining how to improve th
e quality of life in every New Havenneighborhood. It means that the police must be supported. And it means that the police mustfully engage with residents in a respectful and responsive fashion such that every New Havener  becomes a part of the solution.
As a resident of Fair Haven, Henry and his family have practiced what they’ve preached by
working closely with neighbors and district police officers to join forces to address drug-dealingand prostitution in the neighborhood.Ultimately Henry believes that we need a four pronged approach to crime reduction:
 
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A deeper commitment to community policing including neighborhood walking beats aswell as a strong sense that community members and police officers are true partners. Todeepen community policing, Henry will introduce the concept of 
“legitimacy
1
” where the
 public considers every interaction with the police as legitimate, positive andsupportive. This will include significant training for officers and that police managers areheld accountable for ensu
ring “legitimacy” is an essential part of policing in New Haven.
 The theory of legitimacy is that when people perceive their police as legitimate, theyrespect the authority of the police and are more likely to follow laws and to assist the police in their jobs.Legitimacy ensures that residents will be more likely to be partners, joining block watches, calling 911 when they see a crime, and acting as witnesses to crime. If we callthe police and they come in a timely fashion, communicate effectively and resolve theissue we call about, then inform us of the action taken, we perceive the interaction andthus the police as legitimate. Then we are much more willing to call the police the nexttime we see a crime, as well as more willing to be a witness or join a block watch. Onthe other hand, if we call the police and they do not come, or they come late and then tellus there is nothing they can do, we are much less likely to report a crime the next time wesee one and much less likely to participate in any other form of crime reduction.We also need to be sure that our police have the support they need to be successful ascommunity based officers, including training, education, and the opportunity to growwithin the department.2.
 
Addressing the large number of people returning from prison into New Haven everymonth by working with the State of Connecticut and appropriate non-profits long beforethese prisoners return. On average 100 people enter New Haven from prison everymonth. These people are much more likely to commit crime and more likely to commitviolent crime then other citizens. In the six to twelve months before these individualsreturn to New Haven, we need to take the steps that we know work in reducing their likelihood to commit crime again, including helping them find housing, reconnect withfamilies, get into job training programs and start on a path to further education.In particular, New Haven needs to begin to significantly impact the two-thirds of peoplewho are at end of sentence (not on probation or parole). Currently these individualsreceive no services. This has to change.Finally, New Haven can no longer be a dumping ground for people who did not live in New Haven before they went to prison. Because New Haven has shelters and many other towns do not, the Connecticut Department of Corrections often drops people in NewHaven no matter whether they ever lived here or not. The state legislature and governor must act to end this practice. New Haven must work with the Department of Corrections
1
 
See for instance “Legitimacy in Policing: A Systematic Review” at
 
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to provide resources to other towns so that people being released can return safely to their hometowns.3.
 
More aggressively intervene with youth. As a co-founder and executive director of theafterschool and summer camp program LEAP, Henry has worked extensively with young
 people in New Haven’s high crime neighborhoods, building successful alternatives to
crime. Our young people need to have appropriate activities and we need to be sure thatthere are summer jobs available for teenagers.We know what works. Provide children with safe and developmentally sound programsoutside school and we can dramatically reduce the number of children drawn into gangs,drug use and other high risk behavior.Henry commits to building the coalitions and programs necessary to have acomprehensive infrastructure for our children:
 
In each neighborhood ensure that at least one school building is open through theevening during the school year providing safe, age appropriate activities for neighborhood children. Work with high quality non-profits to providedevelopmentally sound, mentorship, arts, athletics, and educational programming.
 
Rebuild the city’s non
-profit youth infrastructure such that we programming for children in every neighborhood and citywide. This includes being sure that everychild has access to quality after school and summer camp experiences.
 
Engage the city’s arts organizations to open more slots for childre
n to participatein arts instruction.
 
Work with concerned community groups to open a full service community center in the Dixwell and Newhallville neighborhoods.
 
Ensure that every teenager who wants a summer job has access to a summer job.This is not that expensive and must be accomplished. Summer jobs help teachyoung people the value of work and how to engage appropriately in the
workplace. They also help build a young person’s resume for college entry and
for future employment. Finally they help address issues of poverty.4.
 
The Governor should act immediately to stop the tsunami coming with Keno gambling to New Haven and other cities across the state. This gambling game would be located in New Haven restaurants, bowling alleys, bars and convenience stores.
HartfordBusiness.com
now reports that Connecticut is preparing to open 1000 Kenolocations starting January 1. Research indicates that the game is highly addictive.Bringing Keno to New Haven will:
 
Increase poverty.
 
Increase crime.
 
Introduce children to gambling at a young age as they will observe adultsgambling in restaurants and bowling alleys.
 
Increase addiction.

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