After Stick-Up, 22 Patrol East Rock

by Melissa Bailey | September 25, 2008 12:28 PM | | Comments (65)

IMG_1814_2.jpg“Hey there!” called the cheerful cyclists to the hooded man in baggy clothes hobbling around the neighborhood. “If you see anything suspicious, let us know.”

A new citizens patrol was making the rounds in East Rock Wednesday night, looking out for — and keeping tabs on — suspicious activities. They carried flyers, not guns.

Some walked. Some, like David Streever, a bicycling activist known around town for his unicycling skills, patrolled on two wheels. The big turnout Wednesday night — 16 walkers, eight bicyclists and five dogs — came one day after a Yale law student was held up at gunpoint on Bishop Street, the latest in a string of street crimes that have unnerved the neighborhood. The riders’ ranks were bolstered by members of the SoHu block watch, which just a couple weeks ago was on the verge of creating an Edgewood-style armed brigade.

Nearly two dozen neighbors convened, without weapons, around 9:15 p.m. at the corner of Orange and Humphrey Streets. Five groups fanned out into the neighborhood, their routes passing through areas that had been hit by car thefts, car break-ins, or muggings.

Streever and a group of bikers headed north. Among the group were East Rock Alderman Roland Lemar and State Street neighborhood activist Ben Berkowitz (right to left in photo above). Michaelangelo Palmieri, head of the Bishop Street block watch and a probation officer, jumped on a bike for the first time in seven years to join the ride. Advocate writer Betsy Yagla hopped on board on her way home from dance class. Friends of East Rock Park maven Justin Elicker joined in, too, bringing two roommates in tow.

Guided by crime reports and tips on SeeClickFix, a citizen reporting website Berkowitz invented, the group glided past trouble spots — a dark parking lot on Canner Street rumored to be a drug-dealing zone; a park where teens hang out at night; poorly lit areas that have suffered from car thefts.

“Suspicious People”

Towards the end of the night, around 10:45 p.m., only three of the bikers (in photo above) remained, plus this reporter. From Canner Street, Streever spotted a man in a tan, hooded jacket walking towards the park. He disappeared behind a Dumpster on Orange Street and emerged again, in a brisk, uneven gait. They had spotted him before, down by the Mobil Station, his baggy clothes obscuring his face.

“Let’s go talk to him,” said Streever. “Do you have any sheets?”

The flyers are titled “East Rock Neighbors: Eyes Open and Cell Phones Ready.” They explain how the group, which does not call itself a patrol, seeks to keep neighbors safe by adding more eyes to the street. No one had any flyers on hand. Streever rolled up to the man.

“How’s it going?” said Streever, a 27-year-old web developer. The man stopped.

“We’re the block watch,” continued Streever. “We just want to let you know to look out for any suspicious people.” He told him that the area is under surveillance, both by the block watch, uniformed cops and undercover cops (a fact the police department confirmed). There’ve been a lot of car break-ins and muggings, he told the man. “If you see anything suspicious, let us know.”

OK, replied the man. He rubbed his eyes and kept walking.

“Be careful!” called out the bikers as they pedaled away.

The Disappearing Beat

Streever and Berkowitz started the nightly rides a few weeks ago. They were responding to an uptick in crime and an announcement by the police chief, at a SoHu block watch meeting, that the department does not have the staff to assign a regular patrol cop exclusively to the East Rock neighborhood.

East Rock shares its police district with Newhallville, and patrol cops spend most of their time on the other side of the hill, where gun violence is more prevalent. Neighbors have long been crying out for a steady beat cop in the State Street commercial area ever since their beloved bike cop, Officer Brian Donnelly, retired from the force. Two cops have since carried out short stints in the neighborhood, but resources have been pulled away to areas with more severe crime. ( Click here to read background on the battle for more police presence).

Designating an officer just for the State Street/ SoHu area “would be a luxury” at this point, said police spokesman Officer Joe Avery. Police are more concerned about “about the major crimes that are encroaching on the area.”

The chief’s pronouncement sent a ripple of frustration, bordering on panic, through dedicated block watch members in SoHu (the area South of Humphrey, bounded by Bradley, Orange and State Streets).

Block watch leader Lisa Siedlarz, who has lived in East Rock her whole life, said she’s frustrated by a spike in crime — a rash of car thefts and three armed robberies — and more frustrated by a lack of police presence.

IMG_1809.jpg“It just seems like it’s spiked to a point out of control,” said Siedlarz, who was walking the beat Wednesday night. One of the walking groups came across a suspicious-looking man peering into cars. He was spotted again, leaning in the shadow of a tree on State Street outside St. Stanislaus Church, she said.

The SoHu group has been out walking since Sunday. They came to the Streever-Berkowitz patrol after a heated discussion in which some members proposed starting an armed effort, Edgewood-style.

“There are definitely people who want to start an armed patrol, and we want to avoid that,” said Siedlarz. Walking around with guns “sends the wrong message,” she said.

Instead, the SoHu group walked around with flyers encouraging neighbors to keep their porch lights on so that car thieves and muggers can’t hide in the shadows.

The group is a proactive response that helps neighbors overcome fear and seek safety in numbers, she said.

“I don’t want to take my dogs out at night because I’m thinking, someone is out there with a gun, holding people up.” Now she can walk her dogs at night, and chat with neighbors along the way. The SoHu group has come together through monthly meetings and an epic summer tree-planting. “It has brought a sense of community in an area that that had been missing for a long time.”

Meanwhile, neighbors are circulating a petition asking for more police presence in the neighborhood (Click here to read it).

“We want a consistent presence on the street,” said Alderman Lemar — at least during the times of the year, such as late summer/early fall, where crime tends to spike. The State Street corridor is the only commercial thoroughfare without such a regular presence, he pointed out. Neighbors “should have a neighborhood officer they can rely on.”

Meanwhile, neighbors plan to continue the nightly rides and walks, seven days a week. The group is organizing through an internet calendar: Click here to learn more.







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Comments

Posted by: real goatvile | September 25, 2008 12:59 PM

How many liberals does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Liberals really are useless. Why not carry guns and protect everyone? You wouldn't need to go out in groups of 4 if some of you would carry. Instead, Lemar got his lefty friends to start unarmed bike groups (ok, so Lemar,Streever and Berkowitz all look like they can handle themselves in an altercation, but cyclists are otherwise not an intimidating group)

They convince neighbors to not support real protection for our neighborhood and talk people out of armed patrols. why? Because they are a bunch of liberls with their own agendas. They should go home and design web pages and write emails and stop pretending to protect this neighborhood.

Posted by: James | September 25, 2008 1:16 PM

Can somebody please remind me why we pay such high taxes when we have to educate our children in private schools and patrol our own streets?

I never thought I'd say this, but way to go, David Streever. I feel dirty just saying it...

And way to go all of the others who have taken time out of their busy schedules to make the neighborhood safer. If only our own government had the same commitment to excel.

Posted by: David Streever | September 25, 2008 1:34 PM

If you are interested in playing a part, please click my name above to go to our site: eastrockneighbors.com.

As dangerous as it may feel, check the New Haven Independent crime log, & look at how few dangerous crimes actually occur.

We do live in a MOSTLY safe neighborhood with a recent upswing in violence: however the incidents are still VERY small in number, and by having an active presence of neighbors out on the streets, we will discourage criminals and others from abusing our neighborhood.

I really want to see people walking/biking/sitting on their porches. If you get a beer at Diesel, take the long way home on your walk home, with friends. That's all you have to do to support our efforts: use & enjoy your neighborhood, smartly, & with a cell phone ready if you do see anything.

Posted by: Nan | September 25, 2008 2:28 PM

Do we all have to patrol our own neighborhoods? I guess Eli Greer had the right idea. What's next? That we all have to have our own militias?

Posted by: David Streever | September 25, 2008 2:45 PM

I'm not going to argue the gun thing here. The reality is you and your pistol-packing friends are too afraid to bring it up in public, so as far as I'm concerned, you have no answer from me while you are anonymous.

I will be clear, however, that my "lefty friend" Roland did not put me up to this in anyway.

this was my idea, and I patrolled solo on my own for the first week. Ben was meanwhile doing the same thing. We got in touch about working together due to the NHI comments & our own friendship, but at no point did Roland suggest this to us.

When we brought it up to him (a week after we started) he expressed enthusiasm for it, while he CONTINUED TO WORK on increasing police presence.

Got it? That's the break-down. If you'd like to discuss it at Romeo's, over coffee, let me know.

I can explain to you also how Chatham square got rid of a lot of it's crime, and how this has worked in neighborhoods/communities all over America.

If you really think East Rock is that dangerous, I suggest you move to the suburbs, because there is next to no violent crime here. Just compare any street in East Rock to ANY street elsewhere. Look at the Crime Log on the NHI.

Posted by: antilib | September 25, 2008 3:13 PM

East Rock is populated by Yalies, liberals and academic elites, the very people stupidly embracing New Haven as a sanctuary for illegal aliens run by a criminal-coddling, race-pandering liberal mayor. They're getting exactly what they deserve - the inability to leave their big, beautiful homes and walk their dogs without risk of being murdered, mugged, assaulted and terrorized while waiting for a "don't ask, don't tell" illiterate cop to respond... Let them lie in the bed they made.

Posted by: Lifer | September 25, 2008 3:29 PM

Real Goatvile: LOL.

Me? I spent the 70's and 80's in the Dwight neighborhood and let's just say I'm glad to live in Hamden now.

Posted by: jawbone | September 25, 2008 3:41 PM

This is a response to the comment by "real goatville" . I live in goatville, too, and I don't agree with your comment in any way. I don't personally know Lamar and the others, but I do know that they bust their ass to make east rock, and that includes goatville, a better place to live. And they do it with out risking continuing the cycle of street violence that you seem to support.
To claim that Lamar tries to convince his neighbors not to support real protection is to not know anything about Lamar and his initiatives. Just yesterday, I downloaded a petition that he is supporting that will hopefully show the NHPD just how many people in east rock care for their neighborhood and expect real and dedicated police protection in east rock.
Your negativity is not "real", its a bummer.
You are not any more "real goatville" than I am "real goatville". What a strange claim to make.

Posted by: pedro | September 25, 2008 4:00 PM

"Real Goatville" I think you don't understand that the mere presence of a lot of people on the streets as night is enough to deter a majority of crime. Criminals are preying on individuals on dimly lit streets or cars in areas with few pedestrians. Having patrols like this absolutely helps deter crime.

Posted by: anon | September 25, 2008 4:16 PM

This is not a new thing. My neighbors and I have been "patrolling" our neighborhood in New Haven for decades. Take an extra half hour of your day and walk around your neighborhood, at night. It promotes safety and it's a good way to meet your neighbors.

The only thing different here is that people are communicating on a calendar -- great work! Hopefully it will encourage more people to get involved in meeting people other than their television friends.

Posted by: Chicwa | September 25, 2008 4:23 PM

Good on you Streever!

.....and James, just a reminder. We pay high taxes, educate our children in private schools, and patrol our own streets because that's the conservative way of life. They collect our taxes and funnel it to their cronnies instead of paying for services and infrastructure....sorry man.

Obviously, Goatvile has the right idea and we should follow that other popular conservative belief of attacking people who look like they might attack us, or those who we possibly suspect might think about attacking us. It has certainly made the world a better place to live so far....

Posted by: David Streever | September 25, 2008 4:42 PM

Anon, are you that desperate for attention?

Who are you? I don't believe you've "patrolled" east rock. I believe you occasionally bike here or walk here at night, but you never have coordinated large groups of people.

Hey, what about my bet? are you going to take me up on that or what? If gas is 15/gallon as of 2009, summer, then I will fill your tank. When you're wrong, you owe me a new set of conti gatorskins for my bike.

Posted by: cedarhillresident [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 25, 2008 4:44 PM

David Bravo!
And A+ on the comment!
And the person that made the comment about it being Roland, no it was David. And instead of downing him you should be commending him for the work he does in his and other community's in the city. Again Bravo!

Posted by: Ben | September 25, 2008 4:45 PM

There are many neighborhoods in New Haven where gun toting on an evening walk is part of the way of life.

Real Goatville,
You should bring your gun to New Hallville and see if you can clean up their neighborhood with your gun.

And seriously, if you think that I'm swaying "your" neighborhood away from gun slinging, speak up next time when the neighbors are listening...maybe you'll get the vote, but no one is going to listen to an angry opinionated and misinformed alias on the New Haven Independent.

Oh, and "Lifer", I hope you're having fun in Hamden...YAWN!

Posted by: DEZ | September 25, 2008 4:49 PM

This is community policing at its best. It's the mere presence of being in plain sight that cuts down on the crime, and gives one the satisfaction of actually doing something to better their neighborhood. I'm one of the original Chatham Square neighbors who, literally, shine flashlights in the faces of prostitutes and jovially smile, looking directly into the eyes of anyone I greet on the street. Anyone. Those who would like to disappear into the cracks socially, and wreak havoc on your safety don't want to be conspicuous. The best thing you can do is acknowledge their presence. It's not threatening and lets them know they are not invisible to the neighborhood. Suspicious vehicles? Flashlights from a distance work great. Buy a good mag-lite. 9 times out of ten, the cars take off. The other 10% of the time, you just apologize to the neighbors for being hyper vigilant!

Posted by: Paul Wessel | September 25, 2008 4:58 PM

I'm game. I will be walking or biking with team. Maybe jogging. Seems like a good after dinner activity. Thank you for doing this.

OLD GOATVILLE glad you think "Lemar,Streever and Berkowitz all look like they can handle themselves in an altercation."

Posted by: anon | September 25, 2008 5:07 PM

All I'm saying is that anyone can do this whether or not they live in East Rock -- how many blockwatches and concerned neighbors are there in this city? Tons. Be alert, and if you see something, say something... it happens all the time. Stand by your windows or sit on your porch for a half hour a day, and scan the block if you think it's too late to walk around. If everyone did this, there would be very little to no crime anywhere in the city.

Posted by: Relatively Humble Goatville Resident [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 25, 2008 5:13 PM

I wish that AntiLib would take a closer look at the neighborhood here... NOT everyone is a bleeding heart liberal. SOME people even vote (gasp) Republican. Not everyone here lives in a big expensive house. We're not all Yalies. I am, for one, really not a Yalie. What am I? I am a homeowner; someone who likes living in a neighborhood where my family and I can walk to what we need; someone who loves living here. We COULD leave the neighborhood. But we don't want to.
I tell this story a lot, but it's true, and worth repeating: my beau and I were once mugged on Willow Street. It was scary. But did we move to Hamden? No: shortly afterwards, we bought a house a block away from where we were mugged. We've never regretted the decision. Now we're married, we have a baby, and I intend to continue to try to help my neighborhood retain all its great qualities. Streever and Berkowitz have my utmost respect for organizing these patrols, and I wish I'd thought of it myself.

Posted by: Kojack | September 25, 2008 5:36 PM

Great article. The cops dont have enough manpower to put a cop in East Rock. The boy scouts on bicycles go home at 10.45pm. Come on in. Its open season for murderers, muggers, rapists, robbers and arsonists in East Rock after 11.00.

Posted by: David Streever | September 25, 2008 5:54 PM

Your detective skills are rusty. I got home at midnight last night, & there were walking patrols still out after 11.

I don't know if you read the other articles on NHI, but the police made an arrest last night, & we personally found 5 cops--count them--5 cops patrolling East Rock last night.

Wake up people! Get out in your neighborhood! There are a lot of cops in East Rock.

Kojack,
you let me know when the murders, rapists, and arsonists show up. Right now I'm looking at a lot of cars abandoned with GPS units in them overnight. Not smart in ANY neighborhood.

I'm not going to ask the police to send 15 men out here to stop people from grabbing my gps, or mugging me when I walk, arms full of books, and ears plugged into headphones, at 11:30 at night, alone in the dark. That's not really something I think the police need to focus on.

And to think everyone keeps calling me a liberal!

Posted by: Ralph Ferrucci | September 25, 2008 6:08 PM

I am happy to see that others are patrolling the neighborhood. I go for walks at night before I go to bed because of the spike in crime inb the last few years. My car has been broken into 3 times in the last 5 years in New Haven and once in Wallingford. A poor economy always brings crime. The worse the economy gets, the more crime rises.

As for guns, I am glad they are not carrying. A high percentage of people killed with guns die by their own gun.

Dave and his friends are doing more for East Rock right now than the Mayor and the Police Chief is. We have 400 police officers in New Haven and 30 wards. That is 13.33333 officers per ward.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that when someone does good for thier town, ward or community then we should applaud it- not attack them.

Good work Dave and the other cyclists. Maybe I won't have to buy another stereo for my car in a few weeks when the new one is stolen again.
Ralph Ferrucci

Posted by: Streever | September 25, 2008 7:04 PM

I hope not Ralph! If you are ever free at night, please join us--and thanks to all of you (even you James! I don't know if you ever read my follow-up, but we were misunderstanding each other: I had posted 3 names (none of them yours) and criticized them for anonymously being racist & doing nothing. You responded, attacking me, about 50 comments later, and I assumed you were one of the 3. For the record, you sounded like a fine community member.... I'm still not sure why you thought I was calling you out! If you are who I think you are--the guy who coaches little league--I had no beef with you & was not addressing you until after you came after me in the comments...)

Sorry to waste space. Just trying to clear things up. hope to see you all out there.

Posted by: fedupwithliberals | September 25, 2008 8:20 PM

What David and company are doing is laudible, but flawed in several ways. By going out and doing the police work in the neighborhood, you now tell the real cops that they no longer have to worry about patrolling the neighborhood. You will get even less attention and put the neighborhood in real jeopardy, especially when everyone starts getting tired and finds other things to do with their lives once the novelty wears off and it gets cold outside.

Secondly, you are also intentionally putting yourselves in harm's way. As REAL GOATVILLE implied, naive pasty faced liberals on bikes are no match for hardened street thugs who are probably packin', on crack and itching to pick a fight with whitey.

Just a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt. This is not what you are paying confiscatory taxes for. Don't accept the situation, DEMAND MORE COPS!!

Posted by: Streever | September 26, 2008 9:01 AM

Seems like FedUp is promoting liberal ideas!

Did you lose your talking points???

(I take offense at the pasty faced comment! You've never seen my face, clearly.)

Posted by: Edward_H | September 26, 2008 9:13 AM

This sounds like a great idea. Patrols like this can't stop all crime but it is a good start and better than nothing. It is good to see people being proactive about their safety.

The article claims the members of this partol are unarmed. Since most gun owners in CT have a Concealed Carry permit how can you determine if someone is armed or not? Or are only unarmed citizens allowed to participate in the patrol?

How long before BJFair or someone else accuses this patrol of Racial profiling?

Posted by: William Kurtz | September 26, 2008 9:35 AM

What's the old saying? "All that's necessary for evil to triumph is for men of good conscience to do nothing?" Or something like that. I'm paraphrasing. Anyway, Fedup, I don't think citizen block watches are doing the police's work for them. It's just a fact that the police can't be everywhere, all the time. One of your ideological allies a few comments up acknowledged this fact (although I don't think most cops are illiterate!). And why would want them to be? When the cops are everywhere, looking at everything, isn't that a good operating definition of a police state? Justice and safety are the jobs of everyone who cares, and you don't need a gun, a badge, or an online calendar to perform it. Pay attention. Get out of your bubble. Make eye contact with, and greet the people you meet on the street. 9 times out of 10, the knowledge that they're not operating unwatched is enough to deter miscreants from their crimes.

Posted by: Steve Ross [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 26, 2008 10:03 AM

Patrolfolk,

With excellent arguments against your service such as these:

"hardened street thugs who are probably packin', on crack and itching to pick a fight with whitey [will kill you]."

"Liberals really are useless. Why not carry guns and protect everyone?"

"Let them lie in the bed they made." [referring, I think, to academically elite (?) east rockers getting what they deserve in the way of crime]

How can you possibly go on with this?

Posted by: cedarhillresident [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 26, 2008 10:25 AM

I remember many moons ago before technology and cable people did go outside and walk around their community's, sit on porches and know the people that lived near them. When a kid would not dear do wrong in fear of their parents finding out. I am my brothers keeper...
I wonder if we started being that way again would it not improve areas. We try to do that in our area.

Posted by: nonlibineastrock | September 26, 2008 10:35 AM

Wow - this is obviously a topic and discussion that brings out a number of opinions. Since that is the case, I'll add mine.

Last year, I obtained a handgun and received training on how to safely and accurately use it. I keep it available and occasionaly on my person while I am in the East Rock neighborhood.

Why? Two Reasons
1) Personal protection for me and my family.
2) To change the perception of the neighborhood. As long as the 'bad guys' view us as people who want to coddle, counsel, and console criminals, they will continue to see the East Rock neighborhood as a target rich environment for robberies, break ins and muggings. Nothing will slow these trouble makers from creeping around our neighborhood faster than the news that one of them took a couple bullets when they got caught.

We need to create a deterrent to crime. Right now, if I'm looking for some quick and easy $$s (whether I lost my job or need some crack), there is no better place to look than East Rock. You know there's lots of stuff and money around and the downside is non-exsistant.

Posted by: M.T. Palmieri | September 26, 2008 11:11 AM

Wow! I'm a life long resident of Bishop St, and it's amazing how some residents of this neighborhood can be against their fellow neighbors taking a safe and pro-active approach to maintaining a safe community for us and them. But it doesn't surprise me that you have made the effort to bring in the old partisan B.S. we see in the media everyday.

Left or Right the reality that we need to keep an eye on our own stuff doesn't change. The police can't predict where or when crime will occur and East Rock is definitely low on the totem pole when it comes to crime statistics in New Haven. While the state of the current force makes it difficult to dedicate a full-time officer to this part of the district, hopefully the fact that unarmed everyday citizens are willing to patrol their own neighborhood will inspire them to meet us halfway in our requests (in petition) for more police presence in the neighborhood. The presence in the last couple of nights leads me to believe that our friends in the NHPD and YPD have already been inspired by our efforts.

You gun totting "mavericks" need to settle down and let the "community organizers" cowboy up and bring this neighborhood together. Sorry...I had to throw that one in there. Be safe and see you on the block!

Posted by: anon | September 26, 2008 12:44 PM

Nonlib,

The fact that you are carrying a gun around makes me much more afraid to go out at night than reports of any criminal activity do. Thanks for making the city such a horrible, uninviting place. Hope you at least have fun while you ruin the quality of life for the rest of us.

Posted by: Streever | September 26, 2008 2:45 PM

Edward_H:

EastRockNeighbors.com requires all members of our patrol to be unarmed.

If anyone is carrying on our patrols, and I find out about it, they are out.

The reason being,

I don't want a criminal to shoot me from behind
because he heard "my friends" are looking to shoot him

You publicize that you are walking around ready to shoot, be prepared for when you get shot first. The reality is that you, on a block patrol, are VISIBLE. A criminal is not. Criminals come in all colors, shapes, & sizes. Unlike block patrol, they don't let you know who they are first.

That's why I'm so against guns on this. Between that & the poor accuracy of a hand gun (Trust me, I've shot 45s, glocks, & 38s), I do not personally trust anyone I know to dismount their bike, draw their concealed weapon, and then accurately fire at a target.

it's ridiculous to imagine firing hand guns from a bike, as any police officer could tell you. At the very least, it'll be awfully hard to get cover before they start return firing.

Seriously people, let's wake up on this. You endanger my life when you claim that you patrol with a gun, because you put me at a higher risk of being shot.

Thanks

Posted by: Ben | September 26, 2008 3:41 PM

"Nothing will slow these trouble makers from creeping around our neighborhood faster than the news that one of them took a couple bullets when they got caught."

Good logic Nonlib...gang members have been saying this for years. With your voice in the mix I'm sure Violent Street crime will come to a screeching halt.

Ask everyday citizens who lived in the Hill or the Ville in 1992 about how they felt when there neighborhoods' names were thought of as representing a gang as opposed to a community.

Posted by: Edward_H | September 26, 2008 3:59 PM

Anon

The fact that you are carrying a gun around makes me much more afraid to go out at night than reports of any criminal activity do.

Can you explain the basis of this fear? Are afraid of the fact that Nonlib has a gun? Lots of people in New Haven are legal gun owners, most likely you know at least one. Not everyone goes around telling people about their personal protection desicions due to irrational reactions such as yours.


Thanks for making the city such a horrible, uninviting place.Hope you at least have fun while you ruin the quality of life for the rest of us.

I would love for you to explain how a law abiding, gainfully employed citizen who cares for his family like Nonlib is making the city an uninviting place?

Posted by: sjbj | September 26, 2008 4:01 PM

just got this in my email. it occured soon after these patrols ended. There's only so much citizens can do...
To the Members of the Yale Community:

Consistent with federal reporting requirements and in order to increase awareness of personal safety, I write to let you know that three Graduate Students were the victims of a robbery on Humphrey Street near Whitney Ave. at 12:58 p.m. on Friday, September 26th. The students were approached by a male who was armed.

I remind you to be aware of your surroundings, to avoid walking alone, and to use the security escort service or transportation system. If you should witness suspicious activity, please report it immediately to the Yale Police at 432-4400.

Sincerely,

Chief James A. Perrotti

Posted by: orangy | September 26, 2008 4:27 PM

Might I point out that a lot of the recent crime has occurred during the day. I've lived in several other cities (philadelphia) in substantially worse neighborhoods and never had a problem nor had so many friends mugged or otherwise assaulted. There is therefore a simple explanation - the New Haven Crime data is incorrect. Seems highly likely and the city has even admitted as much - they have been left off national databases for this. I'm sure someone will find offense at this but I'm paying a lot of taxes for very little.
Maybe East Rock should secede from New Haven. We could easily pay for our own cop - we are actually a high percentage of there tax revenue.
Hey Roland - there's a project for you - secession.

Posted by: anon | September 26, 2008 4:35 PM

Edward_H, I think "Streever" explained it above. You carrying guns around the neighborhood massively increases the risks that all of us face.

Posted by: anon | September 26, 2008 5:19 PM

Orangy, the "problem" with New Haven is that you hear about everything. You don't get the same level of information in other cities, e.g., emails from James Perotti going out to 20% of the town's population. One of my friends who lived in another big city had people shot in his lobby, and his neighbors never even heard about it. Don't tell me that you think all those broken-down apartment buildings in Philadelphia or New York City, with unlocked doors 24/7, don't have their share of crime. Difference: you don't hear about it unless it happens to you. Nationally, FBI statistics place New Haven among the safest urban areas in the country.

Posted by: Hood Rebel | September 26, 2008 7:31 PM

Living in Newhallville, doing street level outreach--connecting with neighbors and checking out the scenery; or just walking for enjoyment and exercise, I would never, ever, ever, want anyone to even think that I was "carryin."

You make yourself an automatic target..that's how most of these senseless gun fights go down.

Someone knows (or thinks) that the other has a gun..so he shoots first!

Best wishes EastRockers..keep it real!

Posted by: Edward_H | September 26, 2008 7:35 PM

Streever

Thanks. The article did not really make it clear that patroling unarmed was a requirement. You make an interesting but highly debatable case. Two things I have to point out:

Only poorly designed handguns are inherently innacurrate, everything from your breathing , practice to the caliber of handgun can effect accuaracy. Saying handguns are innacurate is like saying unicycles are unsafe. They both require practice to be used effectively.

The criminal shooting at you puts you at greater risk of being shot, not a law abiding citizen. In the situation you describe you are blaming the victim. A law abiding citizens gun never comes out unless there is no other choice, including fleeing the scene. If you shoot someone at the distance of more than a few feet away you will most likely find yourself in trouble because you had the choice to flee. This is something every gun owner knows but few if any anti-gun people seem to know. You say you do not personally trust anyone to dismount their bike, draw their concealed weapon, and then accurately fire at a target. Personally none of the gun owner's I know would do such a thing. And firing from a bike is not even a consideration

ANON

Edward_H, I think "Streever" explained it above. You carrying guns around the neighborhood massively increases the risks that all of us face.

Streevers response was specifically refering to the patrol he started and why he does not want fellow patrollers carrying them. You did not explain why you fear a normal law abiding citizen who carries a gun. You only made a wild claim with no facts to back up your irrational statement of a law abiding citizen making New Haven uninviting due to said person carrying a legal gun. If you don't have any logic,reason or facts to back up your statements that is fine. Just don't blame the decay of New Haven on Law abiding people when there are more valid targets out there.

So would you like to explain how my carrying guns around the neighborhood massively increases the risks that all of us face ?

Posted by: Edward_H | September 26, 2008 10:49 PM

ANON

Nationally, FBI statistics place New Haven among the safest urban areas in the country.

What FBI stats are you talking about? The most recent data I have found for New Haven comes from 2001.

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm

Look under Crime in the United States

Usually in Table 8. Where are you getting your FBI stats from concerning New Haven? Please post your proof or stop making stuff up.

Posted by: Westville Mom | September 27, 2008 10:47 AM

I have a question for all readers: why are New Haven stats not part of the FBI Uniform Crime Reports while most other CT cities are? There is a link to a very handy search engine in "The News & Observer" from North Carolina:
http://www.newsobserver.com/1181/story/1220898.html
The box lets you plug in your state & city to obtain the latest data from 2007. Hartford is there. Bridgeport is there. Waterbury is there. No New Haven. Is someone suppressing negative information about New Haven and if so, why? We should be demanding this info from the city, along with things like accurate drop-out rates.

Posted by: Streever | September 27, 2008 2:51 PM

Hey,

the mugging did not occur in the area we patrol, nor at a time we patrol: it was 1 in the afternoon. We begin patrolling around 7.

People, no one is saying the police shouldn't fight crimes.

We are arguing against reactionary behavior & extremism.

Edward_H:
It's true, people who are skilled with a gun are more likely to not miss, but I would disagree that handguns are not inherently inaccurate. Having fired a variety of them, and just having checked the military standard (out of 5 shots, they can all be off by 1.5 inches: this is in a situation where the competency of the shooter is not included, and with a military grade pistol).

This does not in anyway reflect real world shooting, I think.

Just look at the young person shot in NYC by cops, at point blank range, for a fake pistol a few years ago. I believe out of 50+ bullets fired, only 3 hit the target--at point blank range according to the press. I can't find the story right now, but it made quite an impact on me when I read it, I believe 5 years ago now... Obviously I can't back it up, but if anyone remembers it, please do post. shoot someone.

You know? You carrying a gun as a private citizen is your right, & I don't think that increases my danger (unless you are hopping off a bike & firing!) but the people who want to patrol, on bikes, carrying guns sounds like a terrible idea to me.

Anon:
I appreciate the support, but again, fake numbers. Thanks for calling him out Edward. Also, Anon, take a look at "how many police officers in my city": New Haven has the same number as Hartford & Bridgeport as of 2007, with a stated goal of having 110 more: making it the largest police force in the state, if it makes that goal. I submit to you that the 3 month delay on 55 new officers is a moot point thanks to this reality.

Seriously, don't support me with fake numbers. It ruins my logical, common-sense arguments & gives people an easy & obvious way to dispute the core argument which is true.

Hyperbole, exagerations, & lies are not necessary. We are already winning this, and don't need to lie to make our case.

We have the goodwill of the neighborhood, City Hall, Yale, & the many individuals who have contacted me directly. A few trolls on the internet are not important.

Westville Mom:
I wish they would ge ton board with this asap. Citizens do have a right to know, & I do wonder why they aren't reporting this to the FBI. I am going to assume it is beauracracy at work, or some other failing, for now, because they seem to provide detailed crime reports to the NHI!

Posted by: V | September 27, 2008 4:24 PM

Nonlib, I´m right there with you. I don´t understand how people feel unsafe with a licensed gun owner carrying their weapon in the neighborhood. You have to pass an FBI background check and essentially register with the New Haven PD to get a permit. A gun in a holster doesn´t just ¨go off¨, and are quite accurate against man-sized targets at ranges less then 30 feet. The unregistered cars and random off-leash pit bulls in New Haven are much more dangerous to you than a legally carried handgun. Furthermore, thugs are looking for easy marks. They will avoid neighborhoods where taxpayers are known to carry.

Posted by: norton street | September 28, 2008 11:55 AM

v, thats just not true. "thugs" wont avoid east rock because they hear some people are carrying guns, just like they dont avoid it in neighborhoods where they know far more people are carrying guns and are willing to use them, check the crime log. criminals who commit street crime target people who have something to lose, and because the people committing the crimes most likely feel they have nothing to lose crime isnt going to let up in any noticable amount, it will continue to come in waves like it always has.

"...are much more dangerous to you than a legally carried handgun"

so you admit that its dangerous, just less than a pit bull. and thats what people are getting at, it only adds to the danger, it doesnt help. i'd even try to compare it to policing in general, it doesnt really help, what does arresting someone do? it prevents them from getting a job, it doesnt make anything safer it just transfer it somewhere else. of course police are necessary but what streever and co. are doing is infinitly better, just see how he spoke to the man stumbling around, police would have riffled through his pockets.

Posted by: Edward_H | September 29, 2008 10:52 AM

V

" random off-leash pit bulls in New Haven are much more dangerous to you than a legally carried handgun.

Any random off leash untrained dog can be dangerous. Your statement seems to imply you believe pit bulls are inherently aggressive and dangerous to humans. Please educate yourself on the breed before spreading negativity. ANY dog owned by a stupid, mean or cruel person can be a danger. Pit bulls do not deserve to be singled out in the manner you have done.

http://pages.cthome.net/india2/page70.html

http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Articles/PositivePress/2007/Humanscausethe%20pitbull%20bad%20repuation1007.pdf

Posted by: anon | September 29, 2008 11:40 AM

EdwardH:

Here are a couple sources, each using differently-derived figures.

http://www.morganquitno.com/met02safe.htm
>> New Haven among the safest metropolitan areas, in terms of crime, at #119 of over 250 metro areas listed (safer than Sioux City and Portland Oregon).

http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/secure.aspx
>> New Haven listed as one of the 20 "safest" major metropolitan areas in the United States: safer than Portland, Maine, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Seattle, and Madison, Wisconsin.

Posted by: Edward_H | September 29, 2008 1:19 PM

Anon

Where are the FBI stats you bragged about on September 26, 2008 5:19 PM ?

New Haven among the safest metropolitan areas, in terms of crime, at #119 of over 250 metro areas listed (safer than Sioux City and Portland Oregon).

The stats you first quote list New Haven as:
119 New Haven-Meriden, CT (13.17) 531,562

New Haven-Meriden with a population of 531,562. Meaning this list of stats lumps the City of New Haven in with ,most likely, the surrounding towns.


New Haven listed as one of the 20 "safest" major metropolitan areas in the United States: safer than Portland, Maine, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Seattle, and Madison, Wisconsin.

Again this list has New haven as

Large Metro Areas (500,000 or more residents)
New Haven-Milford, Conn.

Again this list does not limit the crime stats to the city limits of New Haven. Are you even reading these links before you post them? Since when have 500,000 plus people lived within New Haven city limits. I guess you are having a hard time finding those FBI stats you mentioned. I guess your next defense will be to say the crime stats of the suburbs are pushing up New Haven's crime stats in the links you posted.

Posted by: robn | September 29, 2008 1:34 PM

EYES ON THE STREET!

This is a crime prevention method that's effective and which is probably acceptable to everyone...bicyclers, joggers, walkers, gun owners, dog owners, or lazy people like me who enjoy porch sitting. Criminals don't like to be seen.

So don't hide behind doors New Haveners...get out and enjoy the fresh air!

Posted by: anon | September 29, 2008 4:37 PM

Edward_H: I said "safest," and the only way to compare areas is with the metropolitan / urban area comparison like these. Otherwise you are comparing oranges to apples, because cities outside of New England have much, much larger footprints. By FBI statistics I mean the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCRs), which are the standard measurement and are used by the above surveys to determine crime rate, if you read the methodology section. Obviously, New Haven has not reported to the FBI in the past few years, but your point has no relevance to the links I posted -- which are not from this year.

Posted by: Westville Mom | September 29, 2008 5:46 PM

Speaking of relevancy, perhaps it would be useful to compare Ivy League cities (?) I did my own research using the FBI UCR statistics & my own calculations + New Haven data, all from the year 2007 & "murders" ONLY:

Cambridge--- 0
Princeton--- 0
Hanover,NH--- 0
Ithaca,NY--- 0
New York,NY--- 6.03/100,000 (496 total)
Providence--- 6.33/100,000 (11 total)
New Haven--- 9.68/100,000 (12 total)
Philadelphia--- 27.3/100,000 (392 total)

New Haven's rate is way up this year...don't know about the others.
ANON---is this "apples to apples" enough for you? A lot of people around here like to compare "ivies to ivies", if you know what I mean.

Posted by: Deuce | September 30, 2008 8:27 AM

"I don´t understand how people feel unsafe with a licensed gun owner carrying their weapon in the neighborhood"

Because they believe the liberal anti-gun rhetoric. If Streever and his posse don't want guns, that's fine, others will go on armed patrol. Maybe I'll patrol the streets with my compound bow. I'd love to put a broadhead through the pumpstation of criminal scum.

Posted by: anon | September 30, 2008 8:34 AM

Those comparisons aren't particularly useful or valid, for the very reasons I pointed out above.

Posted by: Edward_H | September 30, 2008 11:57 AM

ANon

Again I quote

"Nationally, FBI statistics place New Haven among the safest urban areas in the country."

Your post was an out and out bald faced lie. There are no FBI stats for New Haven since 2001. I linked the FBI's UCR page above and you still have not shown any data concerning New Haven from the official FBI UCR website.

I said "safest," and the only way to compare areas is with the metropolitan / urban area comparison like these. Otherwise you are comparing oranges to apples, because cities outside of New England have much, much larger footprints.

In order to try and bolster your original lie you post 2 links where the New Haven crime stats have been lumped in with those of the surrounding towns. Lumping together the crime stats of New Haven & Milford and New Haven and Meriden makes zero sense to anyone who lives in these towns, except for you I guess. How many people look at Milford's crime stats when buying a house in New Haven?


Oh and by the way, it appears the people over at morganquitno.com disagree with your assertion that the only way to compare areas is with the metropolitan / urban area comparison like these. Here is a link to www.morganquitno.com list of
Safest CITY Rank order as opposed to the METRO area link you posted above:

http://www.morganquitno.com/cit02safe.htm

Posted by: Steve Ross [TypeKey Profile Page] | September 30, 2008 12:30 PM

"I'd love to put a broadhead through the pumpstation of criminal scum."

Do you happen to write comic books, Deuce?

Posted by: Deuce | September 30, 2008 12:47 PM

"Do you happen to write comic books, Deuce"?

No, but I'm flamboyantly expressive for the sake of emphasis.

Posted by: anon | September 30, 2008 2:24 PM

Did you read the methodology section, EdwardH? As with per capita income or any other demographic indicator, crime stats are almost always compared at a metropolitan, urban or state level, because it's simply impossible to compare cities in any other way. Municipal boundaries -- especially those around here which were drawn in the 1700s -- are completely arbitrary, as two cities that supposedly have the same population can have land areas ranging from a few square miles of land area to hundreds.

Posted by: V | September 30, 2008 8:48 PM

My point was that there are lots of dangerous things out there; handguns carried, LEGALLY, are way down there on the list of things to get your blood pressure up about.

Pit Bulls? Have you seen the off-leash pit bulls in New Haven? Do you spend any time outside your own neighborhood? Have you ever worked in an inner-city ER, taking care of people who get bitten by random-ass pit bulls?

I agree that any dog, with the wrong owner, can be dangerous. People who live in cities appear to favor the pit bull. And the pit bulls appear to favor the soft flesh of pre-teens.

Posted by: robn | September 30, 2008 9:40 PM

EDH,

I might go with ANON's dissenting opinion on this one becuase the methodologies of the stats you cite seem to weigh six different crime catagories equally..in effect equating i-pod theft with murder...not neccesarily a good measure of crime or how one might measure quality of living.

Posted by: Streever | September 30, 2008 11:09 PM

V:
People walking around my house, looking for criminals, packing heat?

Sorry yo. You carry a gun, be prepared to use it or lose it. Personally, I don't want people shooting each other on the street.

What possible reason do you have to pack heat on the street, while looking for problems, except to shoot someone?

It's not a deterrent. If they have a gun, they'll shoot back. If they don't have a gun, they'll get one for next time.

There are piles of stats showing that this doesn't increase safety, but I'm not going to get them, because our police department just nabbed another one of the criminals tonight around 7:00. They are working extremely hard, and none of the people threatening to do an armed patrol have surfaced.... so, whatever.

Talk is cheap. Walk the walk (or bike the streets) or be quiet.

--boyscout

Posted by: Edward_H | October 1, 2008 12:57 AM

ANON

Did you read the methodology section, EdwardH?

Yes .

As with per capita income or any other demographic indicator, crime stats are almost always compared at a metropolitan, urban or state level,

Almost always compared at a metropolitan, urban or state level by whom? Both the FBI and www.morganquitno.com ( your link BTW)use various of measuring crime. Neither website claims using metropolitan areas stats are superior. Please support your new statement of crime stats being almost always compared at a metropolitan, urban or state level. Or should we just consider this another lie?

V

My point was that there are lots of dangerous things out there; handguns carried, LEGALLY, are way down there on the list of things to get your blood pressure up about.

I agree 100%

Pit Bulls? Have you seen the off-leash pit bulls in New Haven?

Yes and it pisses me off to no end, not only because of the ignorance of the owners, but because of the ignorance of people like yourself who blame the breed rather than the owner.

Do you spend any time outside your own neighborhood?

Yes. In fact my wife and I came back from Martha's Vineyard a couple of weeks ago and we took our Pit Bull and we had a great time. We are hoping to go back next year.

Have you ever worked in an inner-city ER, taking care of people who get bitten by random-ass pit bulls?

No. I am quite squeamish concerinng blood. That is why I went into the banking industry.

I agree that any dog, with the wrong owner, can be dangerous.

As do I.

People who live in cities appear to favor the pit bull.

I have not found one drop of evidence to support your claim.

http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=3408

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-01-16-favorite-dogs_N.htm

Do you have anything that can back up this statement?

And the pit bulls appear to favor the soft flesh of pre-teens.

Only to ignorant people as yourself who seem determined to wallow in your own stupidity. Do you have an iota of evidence to back up this statement, or just your own informed opinion?

Posted by: William Kurtz | October 1, 2008 10:17 AM

Since "statistics" is the word du jour, will evidence from the CDC suffice? http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/dogbreeds.pdf

Granted, this report doesn't take into account the role of the owner. It's entirely possible that people who are likely to be irresponsible dog owners and condition dogs (intentionally or otherwise) to be aggressive are going to be disproportionately drawn to own pit bulls. You know, to complete the whole 'thug' image. As far as being popular in cities, I doubt most of them are registered with the AKC. And as far as "the soft flesh of pre-teens?" We'll need to see your poetic license, sir.

Posted by: V | October 1, 2008 1:56 PM

1. I never said I was carrying, or going to patrol your streets. I´ll walk and bike my streets without crowing about it.

2. As far as the ¨soft flesh of pre-teens,¨ I should have not specified that pit bulls (as a breed, or as compared to other breeds) preferred human veal. All dog bites occur disproportionately to children. This is a fact.
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/279/1/51
I have no reason to doubt that pit bulls would be more discriminating in their biting than any other kind of dog.

3. I see an interesting parallel between Edward_H´s arguments on behalf of pitbulls (blame the owner, not the dog) and 2nd amendment supporters (guns don´t kill people, people kill people). I have NO real data to support my assertion that pit bulls are a favored breed in American cities, besides my own on-bicycle observations. I should have written that any off-leash dog in New Haven is more of a threat than a legally carried firearm. That´s fair.

Posted by: Streever | October 1, 2008 6:42 PM

If you don't live over here & have no involvement, why write? To enjoy the sound of your own voice?

With a phrase like "soft flesh of pre-teens" I am compelled to agree with Kurtz.

Posted by: Edward_H | October 3, 2008 2:35 PM

V

I am both a gun owner and a pit bull owner. I never saw the parralell between the 2 arguements before you pointed them out. You have given me something to think about.

I apologize if I came off too harsh. I do have to admit the "soft flesh of pre-teens" is an interesting phrase, although I think it more appropriate to pedophiles rather than Pit Bulls.

Sorry, Comments are closed for this entry

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