New Haven police are putting a new plan into play to cut crime in the city. The department is creating a Street Interdiction Unit which will be dedicated to collecting intelligence and targeting career criminals.
Chief Frank Limon says having a team in charge of opening long term investigations and closing tough cases is his way of getting the job done.
"The new team will be comprised of two sergeants and 12 officers they will be working in plain clothes, they will receive special training and we expect this unit to be in operation in four to six weeks."
The officers will work under the Tactical Narcotics Unit but deal with all types of crime. "Whether it’s street robberies, drug dealing, gang intelligence we would deploy them. They’ll specifically be charged with targeting career criminals," Limon said.
These officers, chosen from the Patrol Unit, will be able to dedicate more time to investigations, developing informants and studying trends.
"They'll predominately be on night, they'll be broken up into six-person teams with a sergeant on each and they’ll be targeting hotspots," head of the Tactical Narcotics Unit, Lt. John Velleca said.
More officers on the streets is welcome news to New Haven residents. So far this year the city has seen 11 murders. There were a total of 13 murders all of last year.
"I’m scared to death, walking. There’s something they got to do," said Steve Duncan.
Others like hot dog vendor Angela Brockington-Jenkins want to make sure this new team does it right. "Hope the officers not out here just cause they have a badge and a gun to intimidate people too. Don’t make it so the kids are afraid to come to you and let you know who just shot somebody."