HARTFORD, CT – Today, state Senator Dennis Bradley (D-Bridgeport) released the following statement in response to an announcement by Governor Ned Lamont that Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven will each receive funding to increase police staffing levels to assist in the prevention of gun violence and violent crime in the summer months. The cities will each receive $25,000 to cover the cost of increasing staffing levels to curb violent crime. The funds will come from the state’s Justice Assistance Grant Program.
“I am grateful for these funds to assist the Bridgeport Police Department in protecting and serving our community,” said Sen. Bradley. “I want to ensure people who live, work, play and visit the Park City know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are safe and secure in our city. While I am pleased these funds will go towards ensuring the safety of our city’s residents and those who visit, I am also aware of the sometimes contentious relationship communities of color can have with law enforcement. I firmly believe we need the police to fully immerse themselves into the community to understand the people they are protecting. I am confident this will be end result of this funding, and will lead to a safer Bridgeport as we continue on into the summer months.”
The cities will receive the following:
- Bridgeport: Addition of uniformed State Police troopers who will patrol specific areas with local police personnel.
- Hartford: Addition of State Police detectives assigned to violence reduction; Hartford will temporarily remove an HPD detective from the Statewide Narcotics Task Force to return to work exclusively in Hartford for a short time frame
- New Haven: Addition of a State Police detective assigned to violence reduction.
Each city will also be loaned State Police personnel to assist in creating violence reduction initiatives. They will also go along with local officers on patrols.
During the 2019 Regular Legislative Session, the senator held a press conference on the Park City’s East End to call for the re-opening of the police substation. Joined by the mayor, city council people and members of the community, Sen. Bradley stated that increased community policing will bolster the staffing numbers for local police. He added that effective community policing can also strengthen the relationship law enforcement has with the community. The senator said when law enforcement becomes part of the community, the likelihood of an adversarial relationship that can at times materialize between communities of color and the police greatly declines.
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