BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Mayor Joe Ganim and Police Chief Armando Perez opened a police post on Stratford Avenue Monday in a months-long plan to provide more visible community policing in strategic locations across the city.
“This whole area will be changed,” Perez said, looking across the street to a paved lot where the city recently tore down a blighted building. “The whole area.”
The new office at 1149 Stratford Avenue joins about eight or nine posts opened around the city, including sites at Trumbull Gardens, Marina Village, Charles F. Green Homes, P.T. Barnum Apartments and St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
Most of the posts are rental spaces with monthly fees ranging from $100 to $900. Some have been donated free of cost.
Each offers space for officers to write their reports, interview victims and witnesses or simply use the bathroom.
Perez also envisions community meetings taking place at the post, including a mothers club. He said he’d like to bring together moms and guardians of at-risk youth and kids who are doing well, so they can talk about challenges and solutions to make their children’s futures brighter.
He and Harold Dimbo of Project Longevity think the women are key influencers on issues such as bullying, gangs and school troubles.
“We’ll be here with, hopefully, some answers,” Dimbo said.
Ganim said the police post is well situated on “a tough corner that added instability” to the neighborhood.
The sites will not be open 24 hours a day, but Perez has said that means the “bad guys” won’t know when to expect officers working in the area.
Ernie Newton, who was running for City Council Monday, said the neighborhood would welcome more police presence.
“The more they see, the more they believe,” he said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.