“The new substation is just one component of the safety plan. Park City Communities and the city are investing in technology with plans to install a network of security cameras in all housing authority properties. Safety of the families that live in these communities is our top priority.” -- Mayor Bill Finch
Bridgeport, Conn. (July 8, 2015) – Mayor Bill Finch and Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett Jr. announced the opening of a new police substation in the Trumbull Gardens apartment complex as part of an ongoing $1.2 million security upgrade to the city’s public housing complexes.
The substation has been a topic of discussion with neighborhood groups and the housing authority for a year and cleared final hurdles last week.
The Bridgeport Housing Authority already has invested $177,000 in equipment to enhance safety at Trumbull Gardens as part of a months-long strategic security assessment of all properties run by Park City Communities, said housing authority Executive Director Lee Byers.
“The new substation is just one component of the safety plan,” said Mayor Bill Finch “Park City Communities and the city are investing in technology with plans to install a network of security cameras in all housing authority properties. Safety of the families that live in these communities is our top priority.”
Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett said the newest substation is a collaboration with Park City Communities to further integrate officers into the community.
“This is not just a space for officers. It’s a space where officers and community members can share ideas, information and concerns,” he said. “My intent is to have regular office hours so neighbors can come in.”
And, once the external camera systems are installed, officers will be able to remotely monitor activity on screens that will be in placed in the substation.
Police Capt. Roderick Porter said the department has been in discussions with officials from the Neighborhood Revitalization Zone for about a year to locate a substation in Trumbull Gardens. The new office is centrally located in Building 10, allowing officers to quickly respond to anywhere in the complex.
“This is a positive very addition to the neighborhood,” said Porter. “Policing is most effective when built on a foundation of relationships, and this substation will only enhance that foundation. Residents and police want the same thing – a safe community where people can raise their kids.”
Last month, the city instituted seven-day-a-week foot patrols in the city’s four public housing complexes and heightened the police presence after several acts of violence.
Byers said the housing authority is currently working with residents and police to enhance security in all of its properties. It plans more than $1.2 million in security upgrades.
The strategic security plan has three prongs: Resident engagement, virtual security and physical security.
Housing authority officials are working with tenant security council’s to create plans to enhance safety and organizing neighborhood watch groups.
“It is essential that residents are part of the planning process,” said Byers. “They live here every day and their input is important.”
Virtual security will involve adding additional security cameras in all Park City Communities properties that can be monitored internally by staff and externally by police. The feed will show footage on monitors in substations in Trumbull Gardens, the Charles F. Greene Homes complex and P.T. Barnum.
Physical security involved working closely with police to ensure a consistent and visible presence.
“The walking beats have been a great addition to housing authority properties,” said Police Gaudett. “Officers are walking the beat and talking with people. They’re getting to know the residents better and the residents are getting to know our officers. It makes people feel safer.”
On Reservoir Avenue, a private citizen has opened a political campaign office that he claims will double as a police substation. No private citizen or candidate for electoral office, however, can legally open a police facility.