Patrol Bicycles Donated to HPD to Support Community Policing in Frog Hollow

SINA Leaders from Trinity, CCMC, and Hartford Hospital Present Four Bikes to Police Chief

James Shmerling of CT Children’s Medical Center, Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney, HPD Police Chief James Rovella, and Stuart Markowitz of Hartford HealthCare (HHC) celebrate with HPD officers after SINA partners presented four new patrol bicycles to support local law enforcement efforts in Hartford’s Frog Hollow neighborhood.

Hartford, Connecticut, May 13, 2016 – The Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA) – a partnership between Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford Hospital, and Trinity College – has donated to the Hartford Police Department four specially-equipped bicycles through a public safety grant. At an April 29 ceremony held at Trinity’s Koeppel Community Sports Center, Hartford Police Department (HPD) Chief James Rovella accepted the bicycles on behalf of the city of Hartford and the HPD. 

The HPD’s South District officers will use these bicycles to patrol the Frog Hollow neighborhood. Rovella spoke of the benefits of Hartford Police officers riding bicycles instead of patrolling in cars: “The goal of community policing is to know your patrol area. These bicycles make it easier for Hartford’s officers to become intimately connected with their patrol area. It allows for more immediate and direct contact with neighborhood residents. It facilitates the building of relationships that is essential to creating trust between officers and community residents.”

SINA Executive Director Melvyn Colon said, “We are pleased to support the efforts of our local law enforcement officers with this donation. Since its creation in 1978, SINA has worked to improve the Frog Hollow neighborhood in numerous ways. Through our community outreach and our Economic Development Planning Process SINA has confirmed that public safety is a concern of neighborhood residents as well as the people who work at, visit, and live in the institutions that make up the SINA partnership. Working with Lt. Gabriel Laureano, Sgt. Dixon Vega, and Police Chief James Rovella, SINA identified police bicycles as vital tools that would support the Hartford Police Department’s Implementation of community oriented policing.”

James Shmerling, President and CEO of CT Children’s Medical Center, noted, “I am delighted to be here this morning as we celebrate a partnership with the Hartford Police Department that will help the children in South Central Hartford to grow, learn and succeed in a safe and supportive environment. Social determinants—the circumstances in which people live and work—powerfully affect health. That is why Connecticut Children’s has embraced a broader definition of community benefit that includes community-building activities. Through SINA we have worked in close cooperation with local enforcement to support their efforts to implement community-oriented policing and to facilitate community-police engagement.  We hope that the donation of these four bicycles will enhance their efforts, contribute to the health of our local neighborhood and help its residents to thrive.”

Stuart Markowitz, Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Senior Vice President and President, HHC, said, “It’s truly remarkable that our three institutions – Hartford Hospital, Connecticut Children’s and Trinity College – have banded together in such a strong partnership to improve the quality of life in this community. That includes the health, safety and economic vitality of this neighborhood and its residents, as well as the well-being of our employees, patients and visitors … and the students who come here to study. It’s clear that our efforts, through SINA, in housing and community economic development, need to be aligned with neighborhood security and safety. Development work must go hand in hand with community engagement, leadership development, and discreet work with local law-enforcement efforts.”

Trinity College President Joanne Berger-Sweeney said, “As a Hartford resident, I am personally grateful for the consistent presence and work of the Hartford Police Department. As president of Trinity, I was thrilled to support the building of the Trinity College substation. I know that many community members – and that includes my family and me – value the dedication of the Department’s Community Service Officers. We hope that the bikes presented today will continue to facilitate such strong relationships between the Hartford Police and our community. We at Trinity College look forward to greeting the officers as they ride the bikes throughout our campus and neighborhood on their local patrols.”