The staffing crisis at the New Britain Police Department is finally over. About 17 new officers hit the streets this week and their presence is well needed.
The city has been short dozens of officers for years and now fighting crime in New Britain just got easier, because more officers were now on the streets.
"Seeing the patrol cars makes us feel safer,” said Ken Adams. Those new police were a welcome sight for Ken Adams. He said the extra eyes were desperately needed in his West End neighborhood. “When you have people coming in…destroying things, throwing rocks through windows, breaking fences and things it’s disheartening,” Adams added.
Adams said he had to recently start up a block watch to stop the tire slashing’s, thefts, and attempted break in’s.
“With the police being short staffed…when we would call they would be across town they would be handling a bigger case,” he explained.
With the 17 new hires that just graduated from the academy, and the veteran officers who transferred to New Britain from other agencies across the state during the last few months, the department was almost at full staff.
“This is a big step forward in filling those vacancies,” said Police Chief James Wardwell. That meant police could not spend more time going through neighborhoods and finding out what the problems are before they escalate. “Instead of being reactive we have the opportunity to be proactive,” Chief Wardwell added.
The hope is more police presence will make the city safer.
“It will be a great help to us having their presence here,” said Ken Adams. It was a change he gladly welcomed.
The New Britain Police Chief said he plans to hire 6 more officers this year.