HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There is a mixed reaction from the community after the Hartford Police Department released a video on Twitter that showed recruits walking down Park Street in the Frog Hollow neighborhood.
It was posted last Thursday and now has more than 55,000 views.
Lt. Aaron Boisvert, a spokesperson for the police department says this video is just one part of a “community day” for recruits. The recruits also met small business owners and residents so they can get to know the area.
Hartford Councilman Josh Michtom said the video had a different message.
“What it looks like is that they think our neighborhoods are so dangerous that the only way they could move is like an army, forgetting that everyone who lives here moves through those neighborhoods unarmed, in ones or twos like regular folks,” Michtom said.
Boisvert said recruits were not holding real guns and that walking in that order is typical in the academy. He said the point of the video was not meant to intimidate residents but instead show recruits the neighborhoods.
Michtom said the relationship with the community and police is complicated and videos like this create intimidation. He said the recruits could have engaged with the community differently.
“I just feel like if what they want to do is come and relate the community, let them come in one’s and two’s, let them come unarmed. We all move around unarmed, they could certainly do it,” Michtom said.