NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Police are taking it to the streets with a personal touch. It’s all in an effort to better connect to the community they serve and curb the growing rise in violent crime.
Officer Alethia Moore is more than just her badge and uniform. For these Newhallville streets, she wants to be part of the change in the community in which she was raised.
“I’m very familiar with the streets, the people that live on the streets,” the officer told News 8. “For me to be an equal representation of the community that I live in, that I work in, it means a lot to me. And I’m hoping it means a lot to them.”
Moore patrols with her partner, Officer Larnell Jackson.
Officer Moore added, “I interact with a lot of people that I know, so it feels good to have a relationship outside of just being an officer. I can drive around off duty and people are still saying ‘hi’ to me, and I’m saying ‘hi’ to everyone else.”
Moore is hoping she can serve as a familiar face in her New Haven community while on the job.
“For me to be an equal representation of the community that I live in, that I work in.”
A community traumatized by gun violence and senseless loss of life. According to the most recent data from New Haven Police, the number of assaults with a firearm and fatal shootings is up from last year.
The rise forcing city leaders to kick prevention efforts into high gear.
Mayor Justin Elicker tagged along for a foot patrol with officers Thursday. He says he hopes these efforts make a positive change in the city and hopes “that I don’t have to go to any more wakes.”
Elicker added, “If you have police in the area, it’s just less likely that you’re gonna see a lot of illegal activity.”
For Officer Moore and Officer Jackson, connecting with the neighborhoods is a calling.
“I just want to make a change in at least one person’s life. You won’t reach everyone, but one will be enough for me,” Officer Moore said.
Hoping to change how police officers are viewed, just by being herself.
“We were at the sub a couple of weeks ago and the lady came by and her son was acting up and she said, ‘you see? I’m gonna have them arrest you.’ It’s funny to an extent but you don’t want them to grow up with the fear of police so what I do was just go to the trunk and give him a badge,” Officer Moore explained.
Letting her community know her face and her mission as she walks the streets. “Even though we’re going to come and be enforcement if something goes wrong, we’re still your friend at the end of the day, you can still come to talk to us.”