Fernandez Calls For Ramping Up Community Policing

Standing near the scene where someone allegedly shot at a cop the other day, mayoral candidate Henry Fernandez called for taking community policing to the next level—to keep everyone safer.

“It is a threat to all of us whenever anyone is shot, and particularly when anyone shoots at a police officer,” Fernandez said at a Monday afternoon press conference outside Van Dome on Hamilton Avenue. “It puts all of us at risk.” A suspected armed robber allegedly shot at New Haven police Officer Leonard Soto, who was chasing him on the street while working an extra-duty job at the club last weekend.

Fernandez called the press conference in response to a stretch of six shootings across town over the last nine days, including two murders and several others that could easily have ended up as murders.

“Part of my job as mayor is to make sure all police officers get home safely to their families,” Fernandez said at his press conference. (Click here to read his crime platform.)

In the interest of keeping everyone safe, Fernandez laid out a four-pronged approach for building on the initial steps taken under New Haven’s revived community-policing effort:

• Draw on a new body of policing ideas known as “legitimacy,” with an emphasis on positive everyday interactions between cops and citizens—how quickly calls are returned, for instance—to build trust with the public. (Read more about that here.) “Legitimacy ensures that residents will be more likely to be partners, joining block watches, calling 911 when they see a crime, and acting as witnesses to crime,” Fernandez argued.

• Focus more on “prison re-entry” by working with the state and not-for-profits “long before” people come out of jail to “help them find housing, reconnect with families, get into job-training programs, and start on a path to further education.”

• Reopen a “full-service community center” in Dixwell and Newhallville (along the lines of the shuttered Q House), keeping “at least one school building ... open through the evening during the school year” for youth programs in each neighborhood, and ensuring teens have summer jobs.

• Stop the state from bringing Keno to town. (Read about that here.)


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posted by: Atticus Shrugged on August 20, 2013  6:22pm

And nothing new has been said.

posted by: Atticus Shrugged on August 20, 2013  6:27pm

I’m tired of reading about Henry Fernandez.  It’s not that he doesn’t have decent ideas or that he didn’t have a decent run as economic development administrator, it’s that he’s desperate to gain traction.  In this article, he has re-articulated calls made by Senator Harp and Mr. Elicker.  We get it, now that community based policing has gained traction, you’re its biggest champion. 

Now that Keno has lost traction, he’s backed off of moving to get its legalization repealed.  He has yet to relent on calling Mr. Harp a slumlord but after the NHI article on true slums and slum-like apartment conditions, he doesn’t even say that with much conviction any more. 

At this point, I don’t know where his campaign goes from here.  Maybe he’s secretly got more support than I’m seeing from the handful of signs, but I’d not be surprised if he and Mr. Carolina were more or less tied in the polls.

posted by: ISR on August 20, 2013  6:43pm

Again, why is this on a sidebar, while the three-day old Harp bullying storing prominently featured?

posted by: nh104 on August 20, 2013  6:50pm

Thanks Henry but you just made yourself look worse (imo) with your after the fact stances and attempt at policy suggestion.

Just another page from Johnny d’s play book trying to be played off as your own.

Sorry… I’m not buying it.

posted by: OneCityManyDreams on August 20, 2013  9:35pm

Seems the closer to the election the more name calling on the Indy blogs. Fernandez represents real change.  Bravo to courage. The police need help. Calling him names is dumb.  D. U. M. B.

posted by: Xavier on August 20, 2013  10:05pm

One City Henry has a vision and passion for his city. Legitimacy is about all people having standing, not just the ones at Yale or the light skinned people, but all are given respect. One City Henry knows the struggles of little people.

One City Henry, when he drives a new car off the lot it actually increases in value. One City Henry is the most interesting candidate for mayor.

One City Henry, the man with the Midas touch, economic director, understated in dress, but with massive ideas to make us ONE CITY.

Do you think Elicker’s meeting with the department heads is revolutionary? One City Henry did the mayoral thing, respond to a problem. Can’t fault One City Henry for trying. And I do think he has more supporters than everyone thinks. One City Henry is working it and when those Yalees all get back, expect One City Henry to win.

posted by: nadir1876 on August 20, 2013  11:06pm

A good first start would be for more families to police their children. Police officers and politicians cannot solve every problem. The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people. This African proverb is a truism that cannot be denied. Bill Cosby was right; come on people.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on August 22, 2013  2:46am

I like Henry’s outline of “legitimacy”. Little things like police officers being accessible and returning calls promptly is a huge plus in building relationships with the public. I also like his development ideas and vision of reclaiming our waterfront. I like his idea of special training to generate good school principals.I think he’s right on Keno too. Very sharp guy with a lot of good energy and a good vision. I hope Mayor Harp makes use of his skills and ideas.

posted by: HhE on August 22, 2013  11:08am

OneCityManyDreams, exactly how does “Fernandez represents real change.”?  He has done just about everything he could to be John 2.0.

beyonddiscussion, for that to happen, he would have to drop out of the race, and endorse Sen. Harp.  Which I could see him doing (if he ego will let him).