Connecticut City Looks to Use Retired Detectives as Security for Apartments

Connecticut City Looks to Use Retired Detectives as Security for Apartments

Problems at a downtown apartment building leads to discussions on hiring retired officers to keep the peace.

A housing authority in Meriden, Conn. is looking for ways to fund a security program using retired detective to patrol large apartment buildings downtown.

"We are working with police and the council at Community Towers," said the Meriden Housing Authority Executive Director Robert Cappelletti. "Police walk through them every day."

The problems are chronic at Community Towers, an apartment building where security doors are propped open by residents and guests enter and exit without going through front security.

"I do not know if extra patrols are assigned at this time, but the challenges remain the same with limited assistance from residents who do not want to get involved," said Meriden Police Department spokesperson Sgt. John Mennone said. "Our Neighborhood Initiative unit does spend time in that area and deals with quality of life issues."

Despite a daily police presence, the doors reopen after officers leave and the problem continues. The MHA had purchased devices to lock the doors except during emergencies, but the city fire department had asked that they unlock them. They also cannot put cameras in the hallways.

Cappelletti said there are three types of problems at Community Towers: homeless individuals sleeping in the hallways, unauthorized overnight guests and drug activity. 

The MHA says retired detectives would be beneficial because they are familiar with the neighborhood, and are trained to identify criminal activity.

"They know what to look for, how to report it, and how to collect evidence," Cappelletti said. "By state statute, the housing authority has the ability to hire its own police force."

There were expressed concerns about the costs of hiring retired officers, but Cappelletti said there could be funds available through HUD.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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