A Community Dialogue with Chief Limon and Patrol Officers on Creating Community-Police Partnerships

The New Haven Police Department invites you to join us for these community dialogues on police-community partnerships. Present will be Chief Limon and the District Manager and Patrol Officers from your neighborhood. These conversations are open to the public and residents from all New Haven districts are welcome at all sessions. (Download the flyer.)

These events is organized and facilitated by the New Haven Police Department and Community Mediation, Inc.

For news coverage of these dialogues click here.

Wednesday, March 30

Barnard School, 6:00pm – 8:00pm,
170 Derby Ave, New Haven, CT
Districts: Westville, Beaver Hill, Dwight

Tuesday, April 5

Wilson Library, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
303 Washington Ave, New Haven, CT
Districts: Hill North, Hill South, Downtown

Wednesday, April 27

St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 6:00pm – 8:00pm,
266 Shelton Ave, New Haven, CT
Districts: Dixwell, Newhallville

Thursday, May 5

Fair Haven Library, 6:00pm – 8:00pm
182 Grand Ave, New Haven, CT
Districts: Fair Haven, East Shore

Below is an excerpt with the over-arching themes that emerged during the fall conversations.

Westville, Beaver Hill, Dwight (Barnard School)

  • Youth in New Haven need places to go after school, on weekends, and in the summer – Community Centers, athletic fields w/events, etc.
  • We are in this together – there needs to be mutual respect between the police and the citizens of New Haven.
  • Profiling – many African American men expressed anger that they are pulled over in their cars and stopped on the street when they are causing no harm and breaking no laws.
  • Recognition that there are both “good” and “bad” cops.
  • A sense of frustration about how to deal with police officers who are overly aggressive and breaking the law themselves – the Civilian Review Board needs to be more effective.
  • A diverse population in the community needs to work together to help solve neighborhood issues – possibly through participation in Management Teams
  • Management Team meetings should be in neutral spaces like schools/libraries because it is uncomfortable for some and can be dangerous to be seen entering a police substation.

Hill North, Hill South, Downtown (Wilson Library)

  • Programs for youth; but the community has to step in, too. Police Officers are not social workers,
  • Not all encounters with Police Officers are bad, some are great and the officers are professional and respectful. It’s the bad experiences that stick more than the good ones. Officers should be trained in how to address residents and how to interact with youth and victims. They should know about services they can refer people to (victim counseling; trauma counseling, etc.)
  • Police officers should take the time to get to know people, walk the streets, and know what’s going on with residents in their district, so that they can react accordingly. There has to be a relationship. Overall there is a need for more community-policing and that the creation of relationships between officers and the neighborhoods they serve.
  • There is profiling based on race, style of clothing, and cars that influences how a police officer will approach. There are assumptions, but both sides have to understand the other’s perspective (i.e. why the police officer might be on edge, etc.).
  • How to engage more residents in these events (homeowners) to create partnerships. Who is here and who is not?
  • How do the guns get into the community? How can they be stopped?

Dixwell, Newhallville (St. Andrews Episcopal Church)

  • Community members have had both positive and negative experiences with the police.
  • Community members would like respect, concern, and professionalism from the police and feel upset in some of their interactions with police because their needs for respect, concern, and professionalism are not being met.
  • Community members are concerned with guns, drugs, and drug dealers in their neighborhood and with the consequences of this.
  • Certain individuals/communities being targeted were raised as concerns.
  • Community members would like African Americans to be treated differently than they are today because they don’t see their needs for respect and equality being met.
  • Community members like when there is a police presence.
  • Policy makers and the community are seen to have responsibilities.

Fair Haven, East Shore (Fair Haven Library)

  • Police brutality and the lack of accountability for the officers. A general feeling that complains at the PD and at Internal Affairs don’t have any effect.
  • Racial profiling
  • Difficulties getting in touch with the PD, long response times to emergency calls, no voicemail system at the non-emergency number.
  • Lack of trust between the community and the PD; lack of relationships (community policing) between police officers and community members; majority of officers not living in New Haven

[Shortlink to this post: http://cmi.community-mediation.org/?p=113]