This article was submitted by Bob Caplan.
The New Haven Police substation at 329 Valley St. is sandwiched between the West Hills school and the community center. And when school is closed the newest Little Free Library at the substation will still be open.
The FBI New Haven Citizens Academy Alumni Association has donated a Little Free Library to the substation. The little blue box and its books were installed out front in September in an effort to encourage children and adults to spend more time enjoying the pleasures of reading. The idea is that people can take a book for free and return with a book to give away.
“Another benefit is to encourage the community to feel comfortable around the substation and its staff,” Bob Caplan, who serves as the vice president of the Citizens Academy Alumni Association, stated.
The alumni association volunteers with veterans and makes presentations to schools about the work of the FBI and topics such as cyberbullying. This is the fourth little library installed at a New Haven police substation. Little free libraries have been installed at the Newhallville substation and the alumni association installed one at Whalley-Edgewood-Beaver Hills and Dwight substations. (Read about the Dwight installation here.)
Recently, the association installed a little library at the New London Police headquarters. Pete Reichard, a former New Haven police assistant chief, is the police chief there and “knows the value of community policing,” Caplan said.
Lt. Rose Dell, the new district manager for the West Hills/Westville community, and her staff will help keep the little library stocked with the help of donations and books from New Haven Reads. Participants in the substation installation included former district manager Lt Manmeet Colon, and Officer Q. McArthur, along with community management team leaders Marjorie Wiener and Keren Clarizio, and resident Sandy Stollerman, who took the photos.
Dwight district manager Lt. John Healy spoke highly of the benefits.
“The New Haven police department is thankful for the little free library and the books that have so generously been donated by neighbors and New Haven Reads,” he said. “This is a great example of the partnership between the police department and our community who understand the importance of reading and that knowledge is power for our youth.”
Staff from OR&L Construction handled the installation of the library, and it’s ready to go.