The below is a comment I made on the New Haven Independent
I'm glad you raised the issue of dirt bikes. Nothing showcases our City's lack of leadership more than it's inability, and perhaps unwillingness, to address the lawlessness exhibited by the dirt bike gangs. Dirt bike season used to be June July August. But in recent years it has started earlier and ended later. I'm guessing we should see our first riders in early April - about 75 days from now. So, last week during our Community Management Team meeting in Westville I raised the topic with District 2 Manager Lt. Rose Dell. Lt. Dell has a long history of public service in the City and she's done a great job keeping the residents of Westville informed. She is dedicated, truly concerned with the community, and very professional. I asked Lt. Dell if the City/NHPD had a plan in place to stop the terror before it begins anew this Spring. She assured me the City was looking at new technologies to address the issue. And at last week's COMPSTAT mtg Chief Campbell informed me that Lt. Jacobson is working on a plan. So, I am cautiously optimistic. However, I do question the City's will to address the issue.
I say this because a few weeks ago I met with Officer Christian Bruckhart - he grew up and still lives in New Haven and has experienced the dirt bike chaos while on the job and at home in his neighborhood. It is clear from my conversation with him that he loves his job and this City, and we are fortunate to have him on the NHPD; he transferred from the Wallingford PD more than 10 years ago. Four years ago, Officer Bruckhart submitted to the City a proposal to use drone's as PART of a solution to safely track and then arrest the dirt bike riders. Officer Bruckhart researched and authored the report on his own time. The proposal was so good that the NHPD gave Officer Bruckhart an award for his proposal. But it was never put into action - for reasons I do not know.
Again, I hope the City/NHPD will have a plan in place to stop the dirt bike madness before it begins this Spring. Perhaps they should revisit Officer Bruchart's proposal. Either way, we plan to follow the topic on our website - it's one of those issues that cuts across most City neighborhoods, and destroys the quality of life for those of us who live here, while sending the wrong message about New Haven to the those who visit.
The proposal is a few years old and likely needs to be refreshed, but we have posted a copy on the OurNewHaven.org website Let's hope the City revisits the proposal. Click here for a copy of the proposal