Housing Authority Builds Bridges Between Police and Youth

From the Bridgeport Housing Authority

In response to recent youth-oriented crime in Bridgeport, the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport (HACB) took a proactive step toward improving relationships between police and young people. The Youth-Police Initiative engages communities in positive social change to reduce violence and gang involvement by creating sustainable positive relationships between teens and authorities. Under the umbrella of the award-winning NETWorx Program, the initiative aims uses community involvement to create better police-resident relations.

“We recognized there was a need, and as a community partner, we believe the program will expose young people to police, and police will become sensitive to issues our youth are dealing with,” HACB Executive Director Nicholas Calace said.

After successes in White Plains and New Haven, the North American Family Institute brought the Program to Trumbull Gardens. Through the Iniative, police and youth complete a leadership curriculum to reduce negative stereotypes by building positive identities and relationships. They strengthen those relationships by completing activities that help them to better their lives and their community.

Yesterday, at a ceremonial dinner at the Trumbull Gardens Multipurpose Center, 13 teenagers were recognized for completing the program. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport Police Department Police Chief Joseph Gaudett, HACB Commission Chairperson Shante Hanks and Executive Director Nicholas Calace, members of the Youth-Police Initiative and officials from the North American Family Institute congratulated the participants.

Police Chief Joseph Gaudett applauded the effort and said he believes his participating officers also benefited from the interactions.

Mayor Bill Finch said, “This is exactly the type of response I was hoping for, a community partner contributing resources and innovative ideas to help us encourage youth engagement with the police department.”



  1. *** Not to throw cold water on what looks like and could develop “hopefully” into a good neighborhood program. But if you don’t count the city staff and police present at this event, other than the 13 youth recipients, where are the family, friends, curious community tenants’, etc. support? Where was the community information letting residents know about this program event, time and place, etc? The usual too little too late secondhand input and interest Bpt is known for which reflects poorly on anything positive attempted here in ZOMBIELAND! *** MAYBE IT WAS ON THE CITY’S WEB SITE, NO? ***

  2. I hope this little dog and pony show didn’t keep the kids out after curfew!!!
    Oh that’s right, we don’t actually intend on doing anything about that silly little ordinance.

  3. *** Sounds good on newspaper print for political “attaboys,” no? Where are the persons who authored and supported this “curfew ordinance?” *** OUT TO LUNCH! ***

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