Residents of the city’s Fourth Ward Wednesday said they want help from the police because their neighborhood is being overrun by burglars and drug dealers.
“I am not going to be driven out,” Grove Street resident Ed Norman said. “We are going to work together to make it the safe and quiet neighborhood it always was.”
Norman was a catalyst behind a new Neighborhood Watch. The group held its second meeting at the Charter Hose Co. on Murray Street.
The approximate 40 residents in attendance live in the neighborhood between Wakelee and Howard Avenues, in the area of Ansonia Middle School. The neighborhood includes the streets of Avon, Crescent, Day, Grove and Hall.
They voiced their concerns Wednesday to Ansonia Detective Gerald Tenney and Alderman Jerome Fainer, who represents the Fourth Ward.
One Hall Street resident, Paul, who asked that his last name be withheld, said there are drug houses and “drug-related altercations” taking place on a daily basis in his neighborhood.
Paul said he has called 911 to report the incidents, but police do not arrive until it is too late — or not at all.
“Nothing is being done and it is getting progressively worse,” he said.
Other residents had similar stories. They said they’ve called 911 and waited up to 45 minutes for police to arrive.
Tenney said the department has a limited number of officers on the road and have to prioritize 911 calls.
Tenney urged residents to be aware of their surroundings in their neighborhood and to keep contacting police.
“Police do not have the time or the resources to be everywhere,” he said. “Those tips lead to solving crimes.”
Fainer said the growth of the Neighborhood Watch in such a short time is positive.
“This is a really great thing that people are concerned and becoming involved to help the police department,” he said.
Norman, who is a block watch captain, said he will keep his eye on response times and remain in contact with Tenney and Fainer with any concerns.
“These response time are things that need to get rectified,” he said.
Fainer will also be bringing the residents’ concerns to the full Board of Aldermen.
The Neighborhood Watch will meet again Jan. 20.