WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) – Lifelong Waterbury neighbors say they have had enough with rampant crime and repeat offenders plaguing their community. Tuesday night, over 100 people packed the gym at the Kingsbury School to voice their concerns to local leaders about drugs, prostitution and homelessness.
Marie Ciarlo has lived in Waterbury her entire life. She says every day she sees drug dealers on the street.
“We have criminals who are arrested, they’re brought to court, and then they’re back out on the streets committing the same exact crime,” Ciarlo said.
Alderman Ron Napoli says the reality is crime rates are slightly up.
“We’re seeing cars break-ins, auto thefts, packages missing from front porches – things that effect the quality of peoples’ lives.”
Richard Wood is on the Commission for Human Rights. He says addiction is driving the statistics, but the resources aren’t there to combat the epidemic.
“I interviewed somebody today and they were supposed to go into a rehab one month ago and they’re still waiting for a bed,” Wood told News 8.
Waterbury’s Police Chief acknowledged the concerns of neighbors and encouraged them to be proactive and report what they see when it happens.
“This is community policing at its finest,” Chief Vernon Riddick said. “We don’t dictate what the community does, we work together to come up solutions and solve problems.”
Waterbury Police attested nine alleged drug dealers in January and say since then, crime in the city is actually trending down.
In Waterbury, prostitutes are now being paired with social workers to get drug addiction counseling and support for abuse.
The department pleaded with the public to work hand in hand to improve the troubling crime statistics. Chief Riddick saying, “we’re in this together.”