They’re frustrated with crime downtown so some New London businesses are chipping in to help police protect their customers.
Normally, new police equipment comes out of the police budget allocated by city council.
But in New London, where crime (or the perception of an increase) is cramping downtown businesses and city government has been slow to supply officers with the necessary tools, businesses are taking matters into their own hands.
“There obviously has been a decline in the number of police in the city and the perception, real or imagined, is that the city has been unsafe,” said Hanafin’s Public House owner, Diarmuid Hanafin.
The city’s safety is debatable, but perception is not.
So with the help of former Police Captain Kenneth Edwards, Hanafin’s Public House is one of several downtown establishments starting the New London Police Foundation.
“We as a group of businesses downtown will get together and we will try and move forward with positive action,” said Hanafin.
The plan is mirrored after similar foundations in Stamford and New York City.
The businesses buy their own stake in the police department, contributing to extra equipment purchases.
“Our first plan of actions would be extra cameras and extra lighting downtown. We think that could definitely help with the police in fulfilling their mission,” said Hanafin.
Businesses like the Spindthrift Guitar Shop, Hot Rod’s Café, Northern Light Gems and Muddy Waters Coffee Shop are all on board.
The police chief and the police union have signed off as well.
Hanafin says the initial goal is to raise up to $20,000 for the purchase of cameras and lights.
The next step is the announcement of the board of directors, expected to happen within the next two weeks.
The mayor’s office did not respond to our request for comment Monday night.