According to Police Chief Rich Gilkey, officers with the New Haven Police Department will randomly pick homes or businesses on various streets and conduct parameter checks during the night shift. After the officer concludes the check, he will leave a card stating he was there and that the area was checked.
“We do not want the older people to be alarmed if they see a police officer outside of the home,” Gilkey said. “We just want the people to know we are out there and do not want to scare them.”
Because there are two officers working on night shift at random times, Gilkey said they will be the ones conducting the security checks, which will include checking the perimeter of the property, making sure doors and windows are secure and, if someone is found on the property, making sure he or she is allowed to be there. Officers will pick streets at random as well as properties to conduct the check every night.
Gilkey added that he wants the residents to tell him or patrolmen Ian Smith and Mitch Waugh what they think of the new program.
“We just want everybody to feel safe when they go to bed and know that no one will be attempting to break into their home,” Gilkey said. “We also don’t want them to feel that New Haven is a violent place. We want the people to know that the police are there for them.”
Gilkey said that if the department receives positive feedback from the community about the program, he intends to continue the patrols.
“The goal is for the residents to know that we are out there at night, and that they feel safe in knowing that no one is around their house and that they can go to bed at night knowing we are patrolling,” he added.
To give feedback about the program, residents can contact the New Haven Police Department at 304-882-3203.