Hamden – The Hamden Police Department has recently met with community leaders and local clergy in an attempt to enhance our goal of strengthening our relationships with the communities that we serve. These leaders in our community raised concerns about several topics, including racial profiling, police interactions involving minorities and community policing initiatives.
The Hamden Police Department will be adopting a new department-wide community oriented policing model, based on the Camden, New Jersey Police Community Oriented Policing Model. A main emphasis of this model is placed on reform and changes in the Department’s culture and practices. The model emphasizes community partnerships and organizational transformation that fits the needs of the community.
The Hamden Police Department’s success will be measured on the reduction of crime, reduction in the use of force, decrease in civilian complaints, positive community relations and the ability to build trust with the residents that we serve. Focus will be placed on addressing quality of life issues, suppressing crime and crime prevention.
Our residents can expect to interact with our officers more readily across the Department and every day. Officers will be on regular foot patrol in their designated areas. This will build relationships and facilitate conversations and solutions. The Department’s Neighborhood Initiative Unit will continue to form partnerships with community leaders, emphasizing community relations. Members of this unit will be utilizing both foot and bicycle patrols, while engaging with our residents.
Acting Hamden Police Chief, John Sullivan, commented, “We are adopting a department wide community policing model. We have been in communication with Camden PD (which the model is based off of) and the Department of Justice Community Relations Division. The program is based on strengthening community and policing relationships. This is done by officers engaging with the community through walking beats in the neighborhoods and visiting local business owners throughout the town, forming positive relationships with the citizens of Hamden. We have formed partnerships with community leaders, clergy, and business owners who have been acting as advisors for the Hamden Police Department.”
Mayor Leng also shared his sentiments, “Community Policing, the engagement of our Officers with the members of our community who live and work in our neighborhoods, is invaluable to the process of developing genuine, pro-active relationships between our residents and guardian protectors. The Hamden Police Department has taken major steps toward this reengagement with the resumption of scheduled Walking Beats and Bike Patrols, increased participation at community events, the violence prevention Street Worker Outreach Program and more.”
“Our HPD’s new initiative here is Department-Wide and potentially transformational. It’s an all-in approach that can showcase Hamden as our State’s leader in policing and violence prevention, and the development of moral, ethical, empathic, just, and compassionate methods of community protection for our residents,” said Leng.
The Hamden Police Department’s motto is “Make every personal contact count. Seize the opportunity to improve our relationship with the community, one person (contact) at a time.”