Amid weekly updates about stolen catalytic converters in the Hill and the hunt for dirt-bikers on the East Shore, New Haven’s top cops got a rhetorical pat on the back from the governor—and a pep talk from the mayor about how their weekly stats fit into a broader picture of an improving city.
The occasion was the weekly Tuesday morning data-sharing CompStat meeting, bringing neighborhood district managers, detectives, community agency heads, and state and federal law enforcers to the fourth floor of the police station.
Usually 60 to 80 people from all over town fill the conference room there for CompStat. (Click here for a story about how the meetings have played a role in reviving community policing in town.)
On Tuesday a good 100 people crammed into the room, drawn by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s appearance. Mayor John DeStefano showed up too, as did retiring U.S. Attorney David Fein and two mayoral candidates, Matthew Nemerson and Justin Elicker (the latter shown leaning into a conversation between the guv and hizzoner).
Malloy listened as cops from different neighborhoods described the week’s crime trends and detectives detailed two recent murder arrests. Malloy spoke for several minutes, praising the force for the declining number of shootings in town, the high percentage of arrests in murder cases, and successful new initiatives like Project Longevity, which he said he’s ready to take statewide. (Read about the project here.)
DeStefano spoke at the meeting’s close. He said that he, like the cops in the room, monitors statistics incessantly—not just about crime, but about commercial vacancy rates, school dropout rates, home sales. He told the cops that their statistical successes in bringing down crime over the past year fit into positive-trending statistics about New Haven as a whole—meaning that all parts of the city are working together for a common goal. Click on the play arrow to watch his talk.
Malloy is an old hand at CompStat; he used to attend similar meetings when he served as mayor of Stamford and Dean Esserman (the current New Haven chief) was his police chief.
After he left the room Tuesday morning, Malloy was asked if he has a candidate to endorse yet in New Haven’s crowded mayoral race. No, he responded—then he took note of the presence of the two candidates sitting behind him. “One of them introduced themselves [to me] as a candidate of mayor,” he said. “I said, ‘Isn’t everybody?’”