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Southern Hamden Cry For Help Falls on Deaf Ears

The town needs to do more to make residents of Southern Hamden feel more safe in their homes, Gambardella says.


To the Editor:

The New Haven Register recently reported on the rising crime in the southern part of Hamden. The report characterized the crime as follows: Suspicious activity in parking lots, gunfire,prostitution, people being shot, drug trafficking and graffiti.

It is a fundamental human right that our citizens should feel safe and secure in their own homes. Clearly, this is not the case in Southern Hamden. We cannot ignore, minimize or rationalize the plight of our neighbors to the south. For too long, this and prior administrations have given lip service to this growing and menacing threat.

So how did the administration respond:

  • 1) Stay active and continue to report suspicious activity
  • 2) Complaints will be logged
  • 3) Police will continue to work on resident concerns,
  • 4) People should start “snitching,” and
  • 5) Have no worries about retaliation.

Now I ask you, if this was your neighborhood, does this response make you feel more secure? Would you feel safe in your home or neighborhood? Is this the kind of response that makes you believe the town is doing what is necessary to bring the situation under control? I don’t think so.

This is the same old rhetoric that our neighbors have come to expect - much talk and little action. I do not blame the hardworking men and women on the police force, they are carrying on as directed by the administration. What is needed is decisive action.

Imam, Abdul-Majid KarimHasan said that “there has been more crime and loitering in the area compared to previous years, and asked whether surveillance cameras could be placed on utility poles”. This is something I support and should be done without delay.

The town responded to this suggestion by saying, “cameras would be expensive for the town to purchase.”

Just think about this for a moment. Mayor Jackson can place cameras at a garbage dump, but is unwilling to place surveillance equipment where our residents are in danger.

You be the judge, taxes continue to increase, services continue to diminish, fees are becoming a standard practice, security has been compromised, education now cost $100M-plus annually. Can we continue to support this level of incompetence?

The citizens of the southern part of town have spoken. Is anyone listening? This is our problem requiring a town wide response. This administration has been unwilling or incapable ofresponding to simple cry for help!

Ron Gambardella
Republican Town Committee Chairman 

Linda C July 02, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Being a resident of Southern Hamden, I must agree with Ron's take on the situation. The situation gets worse during the summer months, apparently curfew isn't being set by their parents. Groups are out until all hours of the morning riding their bikes. Gathered on otherwise quiet neighborhood streets, laughing and bantering at the top of their lungs with No Regard to the TAX PAYING RESIDENTS who are trying to get some sleep to get up the next morning for WORK! Unfortunately residents hesitate to ask for quiet, due to fear of retaliation. Annoying acts aren't committed only by kids. I've sat and watched adults sit on their horns at mid-night or later. In between the horn use, you can always count on a music level loud enough to make your fillings vibrate. Followed up with the volcanic spewing of trash from each and every car door being opened and left for the home owner to clean up. But by all means spend as much money as possible to catch those who dare to dispose of their trash at the DUMP! The problem in Southern Hamden will NEVER be addressed until the time it REACHES NORTHERN HAMDEN and begins to DISTURB the Powers to be! Then and ONLY THEN will it become a TOWN PROBLEM! It seems Southern Hamden will have to follow the example of the citizens of Westville and take matters into their own hands and call in the Guardian Angels. Time will tell just how bad the powers to be will allow it to get!
Ted B July 02, 2012 at 09:15 PM
There needs to be a much greater police presence in the areas where the problem is worst. Community police substations also would help -- not big productions but just small offices where one or two officers are stationed 24/7. And more than one substation -- probably three or four are needed. A lot of the problem is coming out of New Haven. The Guardian Angels is not a bad idea! And the southern Hamden residents have to keep up the pressure on town officials. PW has been out there more cleaning up but more needs to be done. Much more resources have to be put into southern Hamden, which might piss off other parts of town but in the end it benefits everyone. And I live in northern Hamden so I'm not saying this for myself.
Linda C July 03, 2012 at 03:00 AM
The problem being Ted, is that the Mayor's perception of so called cleaning up Southern Hamden is to PAINT EVERYTHING PRETTY COLORS! LITERALLY! They had a Sub station on lower Dixwell Ave for years, and I believe it was BROKEN into on several occasions. New Haven has the right idea, foot patrols and constant police presence. If the community gets to know the officers on a personal level, they will be more likely to call and help in the investigations. Officers are given cell phones and cards to pass out to residents. so they can call them directly. Not having to go through dispatch gives them some confidence in the whole anonymity aspect. Unfortunately New Haven's gain is our loss. Criminals just move over to the town that has less Police Presence. I'm not blaming the Police Department, they are doing their best with what man power they have. The Mayor needs HELP PRIORITIZING the way Town Funds are spent. Ensuring the welfare of the residents far proceeds an elaborate camera set up to catch People Dumping at the DUMP! Get some Dogs from the Pound and let them Patrol for food and water! There are 2 Hamden's and the South End has been getting the short end of the stick for YEARS as far as services. But this isn't a case of picking up leaves in February, this is a matter of KEEPING TAX PAYERS SAFE!! At the very LEAST a curfew should be in place. We all know kids riding their bikes at 2am aren't out getting exercise!
Ted B July 03, 2012 at 03:27 AM
My brother was a New Haven cop for years and was involved in the whole community policing effort there when it began years ago. You're right Linda, foot patrols are key, the people need to see the police out on the streets talking to people. The police department needs the support of town officials to have the resources to make it happen. Painting pretty colors isn't going to cut it.
Thomas Alegi July 03, 2012 at 06:12 AM
Millions of dollars have been spent on ways to decrease the amount of young criminal in Southern Hamden without any luck. Police foot patrols did work until they were stopped. Southern Hamden is just a poor reflection of criminal activates in all of Hamden. If Mayor Jackson admits to increasing crime in Southern Hamden he would also have to admit to increasing crime in all areas of Hamden. Mayor Jackson has a bad habit of downplaying crime numbers for political reasons. Ron’s idea of installing cameras in Southern Hamden is a waste of time and money; cameras become targets in crime areas of towns. Hamden needs police foot patrols on our streets not cameras. Hamden can call upon the Connecticut State Police for help for police foot patrols, as the city of Hartford did for a limited time. Federal Grant money should be looked into for ways as to pay for police foot patrols. Hamden could also use $5.00 dollars per trash item from the new Hamden transfer station drop off fees, to help pay for police foot patrols. Also Hamden department heads and BOE department heads would be asked to donate a $1,000 to help pay for police foot patrols. Union and nonunion Hamden employee’s sound be asked to donate $500. to pay for police foot patrols. Hamden resident John and Jane should be asked to donate $250. per person to help pay for police foot patrols. Mr. Jackson, Mr. Leng L/C, BOE chairwoman should be asked to donate a 1/8th of their salaries to pay for police foot patrols.
Ron Gambardella July 03, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Hi Tom, I am not sure why you believe surveillance cameras are a wast of money. Cameras appear to be working at the garbage dump. Our schools deploy cameras to protect property and enhance security. In New York City you can hardly walk 50 feet without staring at a camera. There appears to be some value in electronic surveillance otherwise I don't believe we would be seeing such a large scale deployment that continues to grow rapidly as an effective means of deterring crime.
Thomas Alegi July 03, 2012 at 02:44 PM
I wrote “Ron’s idea of installing cameras in Southern Hamden is a waste of time and money; cameras become targets in crime areas of towns. Hamden needs police foot patrols on our streets not cameras.” Ron to clarify what I wrote, I have never seen a camera stop a crime from happening. Cameras don’t deter crime, good police human interactions with people deters crime. Examples: we have people who know there are cameras in banks and banks are still robbed daily. Schools and school buses have cameras and kids still do dumb things on camera, cameras just take images. Ron, you like using cameras as a deterrent, I like using police foot patrols as a deterrent, so why not use both cameras and police foot patrols to complement each other for a safe living environment for Hamden residents. One more point, let’s not use bid waivers for possible cameras.
Linda C July 03, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Ron, Camera's would work in OUR world, a world where we respect others and their property, a world with a conscious. The kids today would only spray paint the lens black, or knock them down completely. In fact they might just enjoy them. How many crimes are recorded by the perpetrators or their friends and then posted on YOU TUBE!! For all the money spent on the BOE let's face it, these aren't the Brightest Specimens walking upright! Point being they don't care! You can capture their photo all you want, you still have to get someone to Identify them. Personally I think the money is better used for Police Presence to discourage them. As Ted has pointed out, camera's have been around for years and crimes are still being committed where they are known to be located.


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