REPORT: SGCA Meeting with Mayor Leng, Chief Wydra

Spring Glen Civic Association meeting with Hamden Mayor Curt Leng and Chief of Police Thomas Wydra, reported by Ron Remer, Spring Glen Civic Association, Safety & Welfare Committee Chair.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Close to one hundred Spring Glen residents met with Hamden Mayor Curt Leng and Chief of Police Thomas Wydra, Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at St. Rita’s Church Community Room to discuss Neighborhood Safety and Traffic Calming. The meeting was open discussion, questions were encouraged and many were asked.

Chief Wydra opened the meeting with a call to action on crime awareness.

“If you see a crime in progress, or a situation where lives are in danger, call 911 for active emergencies only. For non-emergencies, or if something looks suspicious, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please report it to the police at the regular number 203.230.4000. It is completely not a waste of time.”

Keep in mind, emergencies take priority and response time is immediate; non-emergencies are addressed as time permits. But all the information provided is used to fight crime.

According to surveys, 50% of all crimes nationwide go unreported. That means that police departments are not aware of half of all crimes, and cannot enter that data into mapping and predictive policing software. Predictive policing software is a tool that allows our police force to use their patrol time more efficiently and helps stop crime before it happens. It is extremely important that Hamden citizens call the police to report criminal activity. If you see something, say something.

The Chief stated that throughout Hamden, burglaries and robberies are down compared to last year. However, car break-ins are up, and several arrests have been made. Deterrent Patrols are based on incident data- the more data, the more effective the deterrent.

The best deterrents are to lock your cars, doors and windows, turn on exterior lights, and don’t open the door to strangers!

Mayor Leng opened the discussion of Traffic Calming reporting that many of the recommendations of the Traffic Calming Study performed in 2010 have been followed and that more are in progress or scheduled. Examples given were zebra stripe crosswalk painting, in-street pedestrian crossing signs, improved stop signs, radar speed signs and radar enforcement of speed limits, to name a few.

Many questions and comments from residents ensued, and a lively discussion took place. Many complaints about cars and trucks speeding through quiet residential street cut-throughs from State, Ridge, Hartford Turnpike, Whitney and Dixwell as well as rush hour raceways on those main roads. Mayor Leng assured us that these problems were a priority for his administration, and funding is in place to continue improvements. He encourages residents to report additional traffic concerns using the “Request for Traffic Calming Measures” Form on the town website and here: www.hamden.com/filestorage/43/79/traffic_calming_request_Form.pdf

Mayor Leng said that our efforts to keep in touch with our neighbors through social media, email, and good old fashioned face to face discussion were the equivalent of a block watch. While administering a block watch is beyond the mission of the SGCA, many of our neighbors currently participate in informal neighborhood watches, such as our local hybrid system of multiple social media platforms. There are two very active groups online- Nextdoor www.SpringGlen.Nextdoor.com and Spring Glen Neighborhood Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/458250320882529/. While most posts are typical exchanges, many incidents of crime have been “reported” as well. Many are accompanied by comments such as “What are the police doing about it?”, “Do we have a BlockWatch?” and “This used to be such a safe neighborhood”. Keep posting, but before you do- report it to HPD. As citizens, we have a responsibility to, at the very least, report all crimes so the police have the information they need to provide us with the services we demand.

Spring Glen is a safe neighborhood. Help keep it safe- report it!