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Dixwell Church Honors The Men & Women In Blue
by Allan Appel | Oct 21, 2013 1:07 pm
Posted to: Dixwell
“What we do off duty makes it easier to approach us on duty,” said Officer James Baker.
A nearly 90-year-old church community in Dixwell agreed.
Sunday night the local United House of Prayer for All People at 100 Dixwell honored Baker and nine others at its first “law enforcement appreciation banquet”
Its aim was as deeply felt as it was simple: to tell ten officers (a bunch of them Independent “Cop of the Week” featurees) “thank you for caring” both on and off duty.
As police commissioners, politicians, friends, family and admirers settled into their seats, which were draped in white linen wrapped in blue ribbon, people read in the elaborate program and heard from presenters how officers go the extra mile in their work and in their philanthropic activity, large and small, off the job.
The officers honored included the much appreciated victims services coordinator Officer Jillian Knox; Officer Shafiq Abdussabur for his nearly 17 years spearheading community policing efforts including the Street Outreach Works Program; and the exploits of Officers Robert Hayden and Lou De Crescenzo in aggressively taking guns off the streets.
The other officers honored include Nancy Jordan, Elvin Rivera, Joe Roberts, Louis Lopez, and Michelle Dobson. Dobson, a member of the church, helped create the event; church member Isee Greenwood organized it.
Many of the officers work in the Dixwell area where the church is located and are members of the New Haven Guardians, the police force’s African-American fraternal organization.
Baker, who is the current president, said he was surprised and deeply appreciated, well, the appreciation.
Head of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers (NABLEO), Abdussabur (pictured in foreground) called the evening a “tremendous honor,” “extraordinary for these officers.”
He called what they do on and off duty “grassroots policing,” at the “heart of the entire community policing enterprise.”
New Haven can’t solve the root causes of urban gun violence, the leading cause of death among young African-American men, until “we repair the relationship between the African-American community and the police of New Haven,” Abdussabur said.
He underscored how dangerous the work is each day, so that we need to “honor these officers when they’re alive.”
Democratic mayoral candidate Toni Harp, who has received the endorsement of New haven Police Union Local 530, was slated to present each officer with a citation. She shared a table to the right of the dais with her opponent in the upcoming election, Justin Elicker.
Officer Dobson, vie-president of the Guardians, said her group’s next activity is a “safe Halloween” for kids: Oct. 30 from 4 to 6. p.m. at the Monterey Place community house at 230 Ashmun St.
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“New Haven can’t solve the root causes of urban gun violence, the leading cause of death among young African-American men, until ‘we repair the relationship between the African-American community and the police of New Haven,’ Abdussabur said.”
THIS. So very, very true. Good for this church for making an effort in that direction. Everything that reinforces connectedness is a positive move.
This was a wonderful thing to do to honor these servants of the people! Good Work United House of Prayer - good work Isee!
I’m sorry, but the “root causes urban gun violence” cannot be found in the relationship between the African-American community and the Police Department.
There is NO other community that relies on the police department to stop the “root causes” of violence in their communities. Police exist primarily to RESPOND to crime, not fix its “root causes”.
The “Root Causes” of urban violence must be addressed in the home, in the family, in the churches, not in the police department.