Through a West End Civic Association email, I learned about an armed home invasion that seems to never have been reported in any of the local news outlets. According to the email, this is what went down:
As many of you have already heard, on Saturday, June 13 at 7:00 pm there was a home invasion at 12 Tremont Street: two men armed with pistols forced their way into the second-floor apartment and held residents at gunpoint. When one resident escaped and called 911, the men fled with an array of electronic equipment. They have not been caught. The police now believe that the incident was not random but targeted, and may have been drug-related; drugs were found at the scene, and one of the residents was arrested.
What I am wondering about is the inconsistency in reporting. There have been a few armed robberies and muggings in West Hartford in the past few days and those were picked up by the Courant. Those crimes are not solved yet (or at least, there has been no followup by the Courant about possible arrests). They also reported on a West Hartford burglary resulting in arrest.
Do they report only on anomalies?
The answer to that would be a resounding “no,” as the Courant reported on a purse snatching in a high-crime area of Hartford which resulted in the arrest of the thieves. So, it is not exactly a matter of public safety to inform us about a crime that occurred and was almost immediately solved. Given the paper’s endangered status and its clamoring to remain (become?) relevant, it seems that more effort is going into possible layout redesign (again?) and less is spent on editorial decisions.
Tremont Street is in the city’s West End– a neighborhood that has a reputation for being safe (whether or not that reputation is 100% accurate can be debated) and family-oriented. I have had an argument with someone who insisted that this section was West Hartford. He did not live around here and was adamant that Tisane was not in Hartford. So, part of me wonders if crimes here are not published in order to preserve the illusion of a neighborhood so safe it can be easily mistaken as belonging elsewhere.
With recent crimes in West Hartford, we see that it can be.
To discuss crime prevention or other issues you think are important, here is more information about the upcoming West End Civic Association Southwest Sector meeting:
While a targeted crime means that we may not need to worry about armed thieves prowling the neighborhood, the incident is nonetheless disturbing, especially in light of other recent and ongoing criminal activity, including vandalism, burglary, and drug dealing. We’ve invited Community Service Officer Jim Elliott and the police supervisors in charge of the West End to come to our meeting, and we’d like to make public safety its centerpiece. Please come share information and express your concerns, and most importantly, help us make a plan for the future: what can we do to make our neighborhood safer? We’ll ask the police for their help (and try to press them beyond the familiar “limited resources” response), and we’ll also talk about what we as residents can do. Is it time to bring back the neighborhood block watches?
1. Public Safety
2. Community Outreach: we’ll invite WECA’s new Sector Coordinator, Victor De La Paz, to discuss plans to help us reach out to other West End neighborhoods
3. Community Building: block parties, picnics, etc. What should we do this year to bring neighbors together?
4. Your concerns: what would you like your sector reps to bring to the WECA Board? What else can we do to improve our neighborhood?
[...] And on the 30th, please come meet your neighbors and sector reps, ask questions and raise issues, make your voice heard, and make plans for the future of the neighborhood. If we don’t speak and act, nothing–or nothing good–will happen!
You really do not have to be a West End resident to attend the meeting. I’ve witnessed people who don’t even live in Hartford show up to these. The meeting is 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 30 at 175 Beacon Street.