On the heels of two homicides, New Haven’s new police chief is planning to send a wave of extra cops this weekend to target “hot spots” of drugs and guns.
New Haven Police Chief Frank Limon, a drug-gang-busting Chicago cop who just took office on Monday, is planning to roll out “Operation Corridor” Friday. He will send cops to target a “corridor” of New Haven that has been riddled with gun violence this year.
“Our focus is to target drug[s], guns and some of the gang members that are out on the street,” said Limon in an interview in his office Wednesday. Cops will saturate the area with “high visibility,” he said. They will focus on gun arrests, and aim to arrest drug-buyers, too. The new resources will be overtime cops and will not take away from other neighborhoods, he said.
Click on the play arrow above to watch his explanation.
Limon said he put together the plan after analyzing crime statistics with his top staff in a two-hour meeting Monday. He pointed to a map on his wall showing the “corridor” of crime, which spans parts of Newhallville, Dixwell, Dwight, the West River, and the Hill. So far this year, there have been 31 non-fatal shootings, eight murders and 151 firearm discharges, according to police. Those figures concern Jan. 1 through Monday, April 4.
Of those, 57 percent of the shootings and murders took place in the “corridor,” according to police.
Limon (pictured) was asked if Operation Corridor is a result of last weekend’s violence, including two homicides. He said the decision was “based on my experience,” and on crime stats.
His description of Operation Corridor sounds a lot like ID-NET, a since-disbanded unit that targeted “hot spots” to saturate neighborhoods with police presence. The idea was to rack up street arrests.
Operation Corridor is a short-term solution to the violence, meant to complement other long-term strategies, Limon said. For example, by making gun arrests, police may glean more information on people in gangs, he said.
One challenge will be reining in R2, a new Newhallville gang that police believe is responsible for a lot of the violence that has been happening. Limon said he has been briefed on the gang.
“They’ve got our attention,” Limon said.
Limon is no stranger to groups like R2. In the final three years of his 30-year tenure on the Chicago police force, Limon supervised 600 people as head of the Organized Crime Department (OCD). That department focused on gangs, drugs and guns, he said.
At OCD, Limon’s squad did “major takeovers” of gangs about every other month, he said. Cops used “a lot of wiretaps,” and collaborated with state and federal officials.
To dismantle R2, “the best way is to target the gang and its top leaders through a long-term investigation,” he said.
In the next 60 days, the chief said he’ll be meeting community members and assessing his department’s operations.
To get to know his new city, former Police Chief Francisco Ortiz rode a Mercedes bicycle through neighborhoods. The bike is still in the basement of police headquarters. Limon said he aims to get to know neighbors, but “I’ll probably be walking.”
Its not a corridor, its a crescent, and its been well documented as being plagued by high crime, low income, lead poisoning, poor education, no jobs, etc since the 1990s. There was an enormous document released in the early 90s explaining all the problems in the “crescent”, I have a copy of it if anybody wants it. I am weary of this approach to solving problems because these exact tactics have been implemented many times before with only short-term effects.
posted by: new haven resident on April 7, 2010 3:36pm
Great idea it the city had unlimited resource’s, but it is teetering on bankruptcy. It is a temporary band aid. How long can the city afford this amount of overtime. The city has one of the largest Police Departments in the state but in reality the crime problem is out of control with the Police seemingly having no grasp on it. Maybe a better allocation of the personal, put the detectives on the street, they aren’t solving any of the cases anyways, let them get out there and be proactive.
posted by: Vinny G on April 7, 2010 4:21pm
There needs to be harsher punishments not a slap on the wrist.
posted by: beret wearers on April 7, 2010 4:25pm
Hopkins, this is a new era. Its now known as “the croissant”.
posted by: HewNaven?? on April 7, 2010 4:51pm
I want to see that. Link please. (If it’s PDF you can upload to one of many free file hosting/sharing sites).
posted by: anon on April 7, 2010 4:53pm
Consistent quality of life policing (e.g., stopping litter, loud stereos, motorcycle noise, ATVs, homicidal drivers, loitering, graffiti, etc.) works by making neighborhoods more attractive in the long term.
Breaking up gangs is a short term band aid that won’t create long term improvement in our neighborhoods.
posted by: Claudia Herrera on April 7, 2010 5:23pm
The police can not work along with all of these issues and have good results for a long term, in many occasions when the police has to be part of the “solution” is too late and it will be only a bandage to the problem.
I think this strategy should include to work in conjunction with other agencies for example LCI. They know the city and the citizens better since they are watching the neighborhoods in the “early” stage of the problems.(they can recognize when a gang is marking territory with graffiti and do something about it) Block watches are other link to follow. I will strongly look for agencies that work with teenagers because they go a little bit deeper in to the personal life of the troublemakers.
Unfortunately Narcotic department seems to be the star in all the possible immediate actions to take and make the city safety, the worst part is that non of these are the real solution of the problem, and all are just to pacified the moment.
We all agreed that better way to combat this issues is having great education system and more productive business that can bring taxes and jobs, build a real community sense etc. Yes, all of that will be ideal. BUT in the real world this is what we have to dial now.
Hope the new chief’s experience with gangs will help to take a different approach to deal and work with the community, agencies and rule a team effort.
Chief Frank Limon, I don’t see Fair Haven in your map don’t wait until we “make news” to make priority actions.
posted by: Vinny G on April 7, 2010 5:33pm
Breaking up gangs and violence absolutely helps in the long term. You cut the out the source at the top and the lower issues follow.
posted by: Threefifths on April 7, 2010 5:35pm
How do you break up the gangs at city hall who rise our taxes.
posted by: L on April 7, 2010 7:13pm
That’s great, and I hope you catch some of these criminals, but please don’t ignore Fair Haven. There is new MS13 graffiti on Chapel and River Streets.
posted by: Doh! on April 7, 2010 7:30pm
The drug pushers and gang members may have been educated in NH public schools but some of them can read and write. They do visit the NHI website. So Friday night things will be real quiet in town so all your cops will be getting overtime at taxpayer expense for nothing. The crime wave will be later when the donut shops are full.
posted by: citysavior on April 7, 2010 8:18pm
chief take a peek at this; FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, 25 April 2006
ID-NET TEAM ARRESTS SUCCESSFUL IN FIRST TWO MONTHS
NEW HAVEN – The Police Department’s Information Driven Neighborhood Enforcement Team (ID-NET) has made more than 3,000 arrests since its inception on 26 February 2006.
According to Lieutenant Peter Reichard, officer in charge, the team members have issued 2,150 motor vehicle infractions, misdemeanors and written warnings, and made 55 infraction arrests. The team has had 317 vehicles towed and issued 207 parking tags. Adult warrant arrests by the team number 140, and 235 adult criminal arrests have been made. In addition, team members have conducted a total of 792 field interviews. ID-NET has been assigned to the Fair Haven neighborhood, then to Dwight-Kensington, then to Newhallville-East Rock and, most recently, to Hill North and Hill South. Last night, they began working in the Newhallville-Dixwell neighborhood.
“Since ID-NET made its appearance in Fair Haven two months ago, the officers have had a tremendous impact on crime in neighborhoods across New Haven. I commend Lieutenant Reichard and his unit for the work they are doing,” said Chief Francisco Ortiz, Jr.
sounds like some one is trying to pull a fast one chief.This corridor plan sounds a lot like id net on over time. Be careful with those on your staff who profess to trying to help you by using plans that were used in the past. “In the next 60 days, the chief Limon said he’ll be meeting community members and assessing his department’s operations” you might start by meeting the men and women on your department who have to implement your new plans not start with a closed door policy ignoring the men and women in blue who are the back bone of the police department.
posted by: Louis on April 7, 2010 9:48pm
The police want to do something to stop all the shooting. Quick, everyone criticize!
posted by: cedarhillresident on April 8, 2010 8:50am
hmmmm Ok yes the idea is great and in my area…which does NOT have a sticky pin….we have NY, NJ and suburban buyers. Not New Haveners. We are on the highway off the high way. WE STOPPED calling police as no matter what we get NO COPS here (well maybe for a week but it always seems to be vacation time). So we try to get the dealers to keep it civilized. That is better than turning BLUE to get cops to do more than a drive threw the area once a shift. You can here the whistles when the rear siting of a cop coming. I hope that the new chief also does pro active to prevent the shifting of crime well at least in New Haven :) sorry Hamden. I can not understand the expense of this. Would like more detail on that as stated at the last budget presentation… Numbers where off Budget says 551 people cops and civilians work for PD…mayor gave a 300 number..redding gave a 400 number….which ever is right neither matches the budget Even with new hires. Let eliminate the fake postions in the budget please
posted by: FairHaven on April 8, 2010 9:38am
Chief Please do not forget us in Fair Haven it is a nightmare here the shootings in the middle of the night and also daylight drugs all over the place they park their cars in front of houses and sell their wares near the schools Fair Haven is out of Control
Yes, police need to step up patrols in high crime areas. But we also need social workers, therapists and outreach workers in the neighborhoods. In the Hill, where I live, I witness extremely angry exchanges between teenagers, parents and children on a daily basis. However, all hope is not lost. I also witness loving, caring relationships between families and neighbors. We need to invest in and promote the positive if we want our neighborhoods to survive and flourish. Finally, on a somber note, the only thing that got rid of the people blasting music in the playground near my house last night at midnight was the sound of gunshots ringing out in the distance.
posted by: Wag on April 8, 2010 11:22am
Let’s hope that Chief Limon doesn’t turn out to be a Lemon…
posted by: concerned on April 8, 2010 11:43am
First, we as citizens need to get involved. we need to report the dealers describe them to the cops, what they drive. we know who they are, and we know where they live, so lets not turn a blind eye, second officer Presley, let him run this unit.
posted by: free market rules on April 8, 2010 11:45am
Bring back COINTELPRO!
as far as cedar hill goes, there’s been drug problems there going back to the early 70’s. I remember two brothers that lived on cedar hill near grace, both junkies. I remember them having a box of .22 rounds. That was the first time i saw what a live round of ammunition looked like. They went on to a long career of burglarizing and shoplifting.
Personally I think this approach is a waste. Get the right cops out there working in the proper capacity and there would be no need for this dog and pony approach.
posted by: Pedalpower on April 8, 2010 2:58pm
Oh my. The bike path goes right through that hot zone at the top of the pic. Makes me think twice about going for a family ride on a sunny evening.
Cops on wheels maybe?
posted by: beefair on April 8, 2010 3:30pm
Same sh**, same approach, different day, different chief. Fair Haven, I hear you. why are you left out of the corridor? There’s plenty of guns and violence there. I’m sure it was an oversight. Maybe one day someone will decide it might be important to begin to trace guns back to owners and maybe that will have some impact on gun violence if that is indeed the plan; to stop gun violence. There’s a law on the books. Use it!!!! Stop another dog and pony show before it begins.Pleaseeeee
posted by: cedarhillresident on April 8, 2010 4:49pm
Same houses plus a few more as the ones you remember. Been telling cops for years. I use to watch it we all did at one time or another and call it in tell the cops at block watches (which they do not come to anymore) and emails and everything else but there comes a point where you relize it is in our hand no one cares and no one is listening we are just glad they have not been using the kids as much as they use to….but I have been defeated… I just am glad they stay off my street with so help from my closer neighbors and a home made sign.
posted by: Anon on April 9, 2010 8:38am
Regarding the comment about the bike path. Yes, it does go straight through there and I hear from someone who used it that it is dicey in the Newhallville section and not to bike it alone.
You can take the path to the plazas in Hamden. It goes right to them.
I used to have an office on the bike path in Hamden and would have been neat to take the path into New Haven, but the New Haven section is just way to dangerous.
The path has some business development potential. In Hamden there was a business that served the path, right on the path, renting bikes and roller blades. Other cafes and stores are along it. You can jump off of it for a cup of coffee, a meal or a beer if you want.
New Haven eventually could really benefit from the path but right now it is just a huge problem because it goes through one of the most dangerous areas of town.
posted by: A View from behind the curtain @ 1 Union on April 9, 2010 1:31pm
A couple of random thoughts on the video and article, regarding “Operation Corridor” and Chief Limon.
Flooding the Corridor with resources was ID-NET. The crime stats were used to target where the resources would focus.
Street-level gun arrests have been a priority in both Patrol and the Narcotics Unit. There has been a significant increase in gun seizures over the past couple of years, not counting the “Buy-Back Programs”
Unless you are allowed to open up the Overtime Budget, it is not possible to deploy those resources, without pulling from the regular details that go out every day. Districts will be impacted. You are also limited by the Union Contract in who you hire on overtime (equitable distribution), so short of creating a new unit (which also requires Union Negotiation), there will not be consistency in this deployment.
Wiretaps and working with State and Federal Agencies is nothing new under the sun. That was done in the 90’s under Pastore and continued sporadically into Wearing/Ortiz.
Targeting the Drug Buyers goes back even further to the 80’s, under Farrell.
Limon got here over the weekend, and has already studied the issues and stats enough to roll out this plan. How much was he studying during the period between his Press Conference naming him and his Swearing-in? Nobody in the NHPD had contact info for him during that time. I hope he has also studied the Union Contract; he may not be aware of his inability to unilaterally implement changes that are governed by the contract.
Finally, Chief Limon has started out by attempting to change the way the politicians and citizens have access to his office. When a politician called to discuss deployment in his neighborhood, the Chief did not take the call. He also has imposed a “Closed Door” policy with the NHPD Staff. Every communication up and down to/from the Chief must go through the Chain of Command. Not saying this is a bad thing, but it sure is a radical change for the NHPD. It is a throw-back the old school style of policing where The Chief was not accessible at all to both supervisors and the rank and file. The Politicians and Public historically have been allowed easy access to the Chief’s Office at the NHPD. How long will it last, especially when the favored citizens and politicians begin flooding Destefano’s office with their displeasure with their lack of an audience with the Chief? Who will become exempt from the policy and allowed access?
There may be a pop up when you first click it, but the file is entitled “NewHavenNeighborhoods1995.pdf” and its there to download. The document has to be rotated clockwise, and it is also backwards, so start from the bottom and scroll up. Sorry for the poor quality, my copy was already a black and white photocopy so the scans aren’t much better, but its still clear what the results of the study were.