NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – A public safety event was held in New Haven on Thursday night, in the wake of recent events that have many in the community concerned.
It was held at Hill Regional Career High School, and officials said it was a chance for the community to learn about the city’s plans to keep people safe. Alongside this, residents also had a chance to meet the city’s new police chief, Karl Jacobson.
The tension in the community stems from an incident at the New Haven Police Department, where a 36-year-old man, Richard “Randy” Cox, was seriously injured in police custody. Because of this, hundreds of protestors flooded the streets of New Haven last week, demanding accountability.
“We felt it was very important to engage the community about the incident that occurred with Randy Cox in police custody and to share some of the work we’re doing to ensure that kind of incident never happens again,” said Mayor Justin Elicker at the event.
“And also to get community input, see if there are ideas that people have of other ways that we can keep people safe, keeping the public safe and also people in our custody to safe,” he added.
The public was invited to ask questions directed at Chief Jacobson during the event. One question that stood out among others was a question about diversity in the force.
“We’re 50% minority and women. We’re looking to be better than that,” said Jacobson. “The last group that just came out was 70% minority and women. So, our recruitment needs to get better. We need to get more minority women on the job, we need to get more diversity on the job.”
Jacobson went on to say that one of his most important topics was diversity.
This event was the first of three scheduled town halls, the next one being held on July 26 at the Family Academy of Multi-lingual Exploration.