Governor Dannel Malloy today was joined by federal, state and local officials to announce a program to curb gun violence in Connecticut cities. Mayor Bill Finch could not attend the meeting with Malloy. He was in Washington meeting with transportation officials about safety measures at Sikorsky Memorial Airport. The airport is owned by the city, but located in Stratford. Bridgeport officials will host the next public safety forum on Tuesday 6 p.m. at Housatonic Community College. From Mayor Finch:
Mayor Bill Finch released the following statement in support of Governor Malloy’s announcement today regarding the allotment of state criminal justice resources–state police, corrections, probation, parole and prosecutors–to a collaborative effort with federal and local law enforcement officials in the state’s three largest cities to implement a program of “Focused Deterrence” to reduce gun violence:
“One death is one too many; an innocent child caught in the crossfire is unacceptable. We have been working hard in Bridgeport reaching out to the community to keep the lines of communication open to my office and the police department. I support the Governor’s initiative and we will continue to collaborate with state and federal law enforcement officials to stem the tide of illegal guns used in these violent acts,” Mayor Finch said.
Finch added, “I want to thank the Governor for increasing the state’s involvement and allocation of state resources to help our City combat this unacceptably high level of gun violence. Chief Gaudett and I, along with Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Mike Lawlor will be hosting the second of two public safety forums next Tuesday, and we encourage residents to attend to become more involved in this city, and statewide effort to keep guns out of the hands of young people who want to do harm to others. Preventing criminals from illegally obtaining guns and using them is one of the biggest challenges we face as city leaders. Closing the gun show and ‘fire sale’ loopholes would go a long way toward cutting down on the number of illegal firearms that make their way onto our streets. That is why Mayors DeStefano, Segarra and I, along with more than 600 other mayors across the country, all support Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with the Governor and the other big-city Mayors–DeStefano and Segarra–and their law enforcement officials, to share ideas and strategies that will engage the community and help break down the walls of distrust between officials and community members.”
Mayor Finch was unable to attend the Governor’s press conference due to a previously scheduled meeting in Washington, D.C., with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, CT Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redicker and Stratford Mayor John Harkins regarding the need to move forward on needed safety improvements at Sikorsky Memorial Airport. Currently, these life-saving improvements are being opposed by the Town of Stratford. The Mayor was represented at today’s news conference by Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett and Tyrone McClain, Director of Legislative Affairs for the City.
The City will host the second of two public safety roundtable forums on Tuesday, June 26 at 6 p.m., in Beacon Hall at Housatonic Community College, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT.