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Photo of Senator Ed Gomes.

STATE SENATOR

Ed Gomes

FIGHTING FOR OUR COMMUNITY

9 Ways You Can Help End Violence in Our City

It's time to put an end to the violence that's plaguing our homes and city streets. It's time to help each other build neighborhoods where we can all feel safe and secure from crime. A tough task? Yes, but it's a challenge that each of us can do something about. Together, we can reclaim Bridgeport child by child, family by family, and neighborhood by neighborhood.

You can do a lot in your home, in your neighborhood, and throughout your community. Pick a place to start where you are comfortable.

Senator Gomes talks with young people in Bridgeport

1. Talk to Your Child

Start small by addressing the problem right under your own roof. Talk to your children and their friends about gangs, violence, and bullying, and listen to their views on the subject.

If you keep a firearm in your home, make sure you are following the appropriate gun safety measures to keep it out of the wrong hands.

If you believe your child is at-risk and needs support, you can contact the Child and Family Guidance Center.
 

2. Become a Mentor

Reach out to your local church, school, or other community organization to see if they offer mentorship programs. Check out this list of mentoring programs from the City of Bridgeport.
 

3. Come Together

Join rallies, marches, and other group activities to show you're determined to drive out crime and drugs.
 

4. Join Your Neighborhood Crime Watch

Citizens who participate in Bridgeport's Neighborhood Watch program walk in groups of 3 or more people, extending the "eyes and ears" of the block watch with the goal of establishing a positive presence in the neighborhood, thereby reducing the opportunity for criminal activity. The participants of the program are trained to observe the activities and report any suspicious activity to the police department.
 

5. Work with Police

We all know relations with police in our community are not 100 percent where they should be, but working with officers in your neighborhood is an important step in reducing crime. Reporting suspicious activity is one way to support police officers in their efforts to keep your neighborhood safe.
 

6. Speak Up

Work with public agencies and other organizations--neighborhood-based or community-wide--on solving common problems. Don't be shy about letting them know what your community needs. Make sure that all the youth in the neighborhood have positive ways to spend their spare time, through organized recreation, tutoring programs, part-time work, and volunteer opportunities.
 

7. Clean Up the Neighborhood

Involve everyone--teens, children, senior citizens. Graffiti, litter, abandoned cars, and run-down buildings tell criminals that you don't care about where you live or each other. Call the city Public Facilities Department and ask for help in cleaning up.
 

8. Hold Officials Accountable

Ask local officials to use new ways to get criminals out of your building or neighborhood. These include enforcing anti-noise laws, housing codes, health and fire codes, anti-nuisance laws, and drug-free clauses in rental leases. Work with schools to establish drug-free, gun-free zones; work with recreation officials to do the same for parks.
 

9. Remember, It's Everyone's Business

Why accept this challenge? Because every child deserves a safe and healthy childhood. Because no community can afford the costs of violence. Because a healthier, safer community benefits each of us. Because failing to act costs lives and resources. Because our children should not have to raise their children amid violence. Because if we don't stop it, no one will.

As always, you can contact my office with questions and concerns.