Mayor & New Chief: Crime is Hurting Hartford Economy

Anytime there is a shooting in the North End of Hartford it makes the news.   The headline might say “Man Shot in Hartford,” or something like that.    I often wonder what potential investors or residents think when they read that, even though the crime might have taken place nowhere near where the real estate that investor was  eyeballing.

This Sunday on Face the State, we are joined by Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his new chief of police, James Rovella.    We talked about Rovella’s goals as the new head of HPD, and the shootings that grab all the attention.

Suburbanites seem to think Hartford is full of shootings, but the reality is the vast majority of the people who live in the city are faced with some of the same problems suburbanites face:  car break-ins, people running stop signs and driving too fast on residential streets, potholes, and other seemingly common issues.      Many of us, tend to resent the violent losers in the rough neighborhoods who take police away from the problems that are often taken care of more quickly in towns without violent crime.

It is clear that more needs to be done to curb crime than just rounding up troublemakers.  The city needs to be made less attractive to the criminal element.

All you have to do is drive around the metro area to see that most national chains avoid Hartford.    The new supermarkets are all in the suburbs, as are most of the retail outlets.   A few miles from downtown in West Hartford Center, merchants are filling up storefronts, while the capital city struggles to fill empty spaces.   Hartford’s neighbor also has a reported 35 developers interested in building a hotel, while the Goodwin Hotel remains vacant, in the heart of the capital city of the nation’s wealthiest state.

What gives?  Is it the image of crime that scares off investors from Hartford?    The new chief acknowledged the trouble caused by a few bad apples does hurt the entire city.    I asked the Mayor what he plans to do about it.   Maybe you can’t catch every bad guy, but why do parts of the city continue to look conducive to criminals?   There are boarded up buildings downtown, desolate acreage of asphalt, an empty skyscraper, and the list goes on.

The mayor talked about plans in the works to address many of those issues.

You can watch the responses from Mayor Segarra and Chief Rovella this Sunday morning at 11AM on Face the State on Channel 3, and hear their plans for improving your capital city.

Watch the interview right here: http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7532538

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4 Responses

  1. Good post Dennis, I have noticed some stepped up enforcement in the West End as well.

  2. Dennis -
    We MUST be precise: the Channel 3 is reporting at this moment that the City has a new police chief; mayor is saying “made the appointment”; your blog above congratulates him on the “new job”.
    Isn’t it really a nomination?? What about confirmation by City Council?
    More deeply, what about adequate time after last night’s 3-person session for community and Council feedback?
    What will show the public the whole process, search, and spending of taxpayers’ $50.000 was not a sham and wast
    Ask around now whether a positive Council vote is likely or not.
    Larry Deutsch, Minority Leader, City Council

  3. Dennis: thank you so much for covering this very relevant topic. Hartford residents really care about this! I recently have had some interesting interaction w/ Mayor Segarra’s office and the HPD following my third car break-in (in as many years) in downtown Hartford,

  4. Maybe the media can talk about more of the positive things in hartford and not play up the violence ! What we focus on we become – dont you agree? What about every day talking about a hartford resident doing something positive! You all have tremendous influence ! I am not talking about denial of problems but just balance ! I am Proud to be a hartford resident!

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