Safety was the focus of a town meeting with police and town leaders in Hamden Wednesday.
Residents who showed up were able to share their concerns and offer potential solutions following multiple recent attacks and carjackings at the Hamden Plaza.
The discussion comes days after a 74-year-old woman was attacked and carjacked moments after leaving a store at the plaza.
The goal of the crime prevention meeting was to inform the public about the best ways to stay safe.
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"We don't want you to be going shopping or going about your everyday lives being fearful but we want people to be smart," said Detective Sean Dolan.
Shoppers should be seeing increased security and police patrols and the plaza owner announced that he along with police are working with area businesses to ensure the plaza is safe.
Andrew Bermant owns the plaza and announced that more than $250,000 has gone into improving security cameras around the parking lot.
"We're going to do everything that we possibly can do to try and take care of you," said Bermant.
Hamden's mayor, police chief, and Bermant are working together to ensure that the shoppers feel safe and want the public to know that their safety is top of mind.
"We take this very serious, we're looking to take a lot of measures to keep this community safe," said Hamden Police Chief John Sullivan.
The Hamden Police Department wants to remind the community of some very important crime-prevention safety tips:
- Park in well-lit areas.
- Avoid driving or shopping alone whenever possible.
- Don’t leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart.
- If possible, leave your purse at home. Carry only essentials, such as money, credit cards, and identification in your pockets. Avoid carrying a large amount of money.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you park. Do not leave any valuables inside your vehicle.
- If you sense trouble, get away as soon as possible.
- Don't look like an easy target. Walk with your head up and eyes alert.
- When returning to your vehicle, have your keys accessible. You want to unlock the door to your vehicle as quickly as possible. Lock your vehicle upon re-entering it.
- If you are robbed, make personal safety your number one priority. Money and property can always be replaced. Please contact the Hamden Police Department for assistance by dialing 911 or calling (203) 230-4000.
"I was surprised because I've been shopping here for a few years," said Ruth Beardsley.
"It's unfortunate that someone would jump in the car and attack someone you know an older lady," said Mary Weir, of New Haven.
Hamden Police along with city leaders are hosting another public crime prevention meeting next Wednesday at the town's legislative building at 6:30 p.m.