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Malloy Highlights Efforts To Combat Urban Crime

by Christine Stuart | Jul 15, 2014 3:30pm
(10) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Election 2014, Bridgeport

Susan Bigelow map Looking at a map of the 2010 race for governor it’s easy to see why Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been very visible in Connecticut’s major cities this summer.

It’s been reported that he’s been a frequent guest in New Haven, and on Tuesday he made a trip to Bridgeport to learn more about what that city is doing to combat crime under a project based on the work of renowned criminologist and John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor David Kennedy.

Project Longevity, as it’s known, is based on the premise that 3 percent of the population in any city is responsible for 90 percent of the violence. The idea is to target the individuals committing the majority of the violence and offering the ones who want to get away from the street a full range of services from housing to job training.

Project Longevity was launched in New Haven in November 2012 and Bridgeport got involved in October 2013. Hartford also is participating.

“I want you all to understand that this is far from my first stop in Bridgeport to speak about homicides, about shootings, about assaults,” Malloy said. “I’ve been here on a regular basis working with your police department and with your mayor and I’m proud of the efforts.”

Malloy said Bridgeport has seen an impressive decline in crime statistics, but “young people are continuing, unfortunately, to kill other young people.”

Bridgeport Assistant Chief of Police James Nardozzi said homicides are down 33 percent over where they were this time last year, and shootings are down 12.12 percent.

Christine Stuart photo Bridgeport Project Manager Charles Grady said 79 individuals have come to one of the city’s three call-in events where people with criminal histories are given a chance to obtain services if they agree to follow the rules. He said they’ve had some drop out of the program because they’ve returned to doing drugs, specifically PCP or “wet-wet,” which is a cigarette dipped in formaldehyde.

Grady said the services requested by the individuals who attend these events vary from job assistance to housing to education. He said there’s also a large majority who need help obtaining a state ID card.

“These numbers that I’m giving you, they may not sound mighty and big . . . but when you look at the individuals that we’re dealing with and the obstacles that they’re facing, these numbers are tremendous and it’s all because of the service-provider network,” Grady said.

Malloy said the state’s crime rate is the lowest its been in decades and it’s because of programs like Project Longevity.

“With initiatives like Project Longevity, we can reduce gun violence,” Malloy said. “Project Longevity has the potential to lower violent crime here in Bridgeport, New Haven, and Hartford. But we need to do more than simply having police programs. We need to have service programs and that’s what we’re talking about here today.”

Malloy was quick to point out that Bridgeport service providers involved with anti-violence programs received $671,000 this year. One of the groups that received the funding was the Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership, which was the audience Tuesday for Malloy’s press conference.

“It’s about making growing up just a little bit safer,” Malloy said. “It’s about keeping people out of trouble and out of jail. It’s about keeping people safe and alive.”

Malloy said combating violence with opportunity needs to be a sustained effort in the state’s urban centers.

Christine Stuart photo

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

Republican Tom Foley, who lost to Malloy by 6,404 votes in 2010 and is seeking to challenge him again this year, has been focusing on the cities. He announced his exploratory committee in the same building in Bridgeport that Malloy visited Tuesday and he officially launched his candidacy at a V.F.W. in Waterbury.

Chris Cooper, Foley’s campaign spokesman, said Foley outlined an urban agenda that includes the reduction of crime and great opportunity for employment. The think-tank Foley founded after losing in 2010 released a paper earlier this year detailing four strategies to combat crime in urban areas.

Cooper said Foley is focused on reducing crime, fixing urban schools, reducing unemployment, and figuring out ways to improve the deteriorating housing stock.

“He believes the fate of the cities is important to the state of Connecticut that’s why he’s pledging to focus more resources on them,” Cooper said.

Asked about the interest one of his potential Republican opponents is expressing in urban areas, Malloy danced around the question.

“Republicans don’t have a candidate yet,” Malloy said. “I’m happy to compare my urban track record with what they would call their proposals. In point of fact, if Republicans cared about urban environments in Connecticut, some of our cities wouldn’t be in the terrible shape they are in. After all they had, in essence, Republican governors for, in essence, 20 years.”

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, a Democrat, expressed confidence that Malloy would carry that city again this year in an election that isn’t creating as much excitement as it did four years ago.

He said Democratic voters in Bridgeport realize Malloy is a Democratic governor who has been fighting for their interests.

“If you want a governor who is going to fight for cities, fight for jobs in the cities, fight against gun violence, this is your guy and you gotta keep him in,” Finch said. That’s the message he said he would be spreading to voters.

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(10) Comments

posted by: QuestionMark | July 15, 2014  8:03pm

Count on Malloy shoveling it around daily until Election Day. He blamed Republicans for the urban environments in Connecticut, but it’s all his fault. He hasn’t produced jobs for people in the urban communities, forcing them to go on welfare instead.

posted by: jim black | July 16, 2014  8:17am

Welfare is the only way to buy votes with other peoples money.

posted by: ctguy | July 16, 2014  1:26pm

The folks I know in New Haven are very much in favor of street cameras but they would also like mandatory police wearing of cop cams. The reality is there has not been a Republican I can remember with anything even close to a well developed urban policy.

posted by: joemanc | July 16, 2014  1:35pm

“In point of fact, if Republicans cared about urban environments in Connecticut, some of our cities wouldn’t be in the terrible shape they are in. After all they had, in essence, Republican governors for, in essence, 20 years.”
In point of fact, most of CT’s larger cities have been run be Democrats, for decades.

posted by: QuestionMark | July 16, 2014  1:52pm

Jim black: Malloy is rewriting the book on buying votes with other people’s money (our tax dollars). He failed to provide jobs for the urban community residents and put them on welfare instead, to buy their votes. Then, with tongue in cheek,Gov. Dan brags about how much he has done for the urban community. No shame!

posted by: QuestionMark | July 16, 2014  2:26pm

ctguy: I question your assumed reality because Republicans cannot compete with the Democratic taxpayer-paid urban-control welfare votes. The GOP can’t win against the Democratic regimes that keep using our taxpayer-paid welfare money to win elections.  This is why Connecticut is the national leader in unpaid deficit spending, and a current $3 billion dollar deficit with Malloy now telling people that we have a surplus.

posted by: Fisherman | July 16, 2014  5:50pm

Malloy said “young people are continuing, unfortunately, to kill other young people.”

WAIT… WHAT?

Wasn’t it just a few months ago that Danny and his cronies were peddling that we should GO EASY and RELEASE those same young criminals, because their minds “weren’t fully developed”?

More BS from Malloy and Company.

posted by: justsayin | July 16, 2014  8:20pm

CT has had a democratic controlled senate for 25 of the past 27 years. And all major cities have been run by Democratic mayors. How is this failure a republican issue?

posted by: QuestionMark | July 17, 2014  9:16am

justsaying: It’s because Democrat’s won’t accept responsibility for their decadent Connecticut rule for a quarter of a century, but instead pass the buck with paid and unpaid “careless with the truth press releases” coming from Malloy’s propaganda machine.

posted by: QuestionMark | July 17, 2014  6:20pm

Malloy is not fooling anyone. It’s only a ploy to capture the urban vote in a sedulous endeavor attempt for Election Day. Crime only pays for Dan Malloy.