In March 2012 a Yeshiva student was attacked and britally beaten in the Overlook Neighborhood in Waterbury. The Historic Overlook Community Club called an emergency meeting that was attended by Mayor Neil O’Leary and a large contingent of Waterbury police officers who addressed the situation. Concerns in the neighborhood are heightened again after an armed robbery. Community leaders, who wrote the following letter, are calling for another meeting with the mayor and an increased police presence in the Overlook neighborhood. Photograph by John Murray
(Editor’s note – the following letter was sent by concerned community leaders in the Overlook neighborhood in Waterbury following an armed robbery)
We regret to inform you about an attack which took place this evening in our neighborhood. One of our community members was mugged at gunpoint as she stood in front of her house. In light of the fact that this is the second attack in the past two weeks, we are extremely concerned about this disturbing trend and we all have to work together to ensure our safety.
This evening at 9:15pm, about an hour after the attack, several community leaders met at the home of Shuly Lieber to coordinate our community’s efforts and response. In attendance was Rabbi Kaufman, Rabbi Sonnenschein, Rabbi Brecher, Dov Braunstein, Chaim Gewirtzman, Yitz Rabinowitz, Mordy Siegel of the Waterbury Citizens Patrol, Yisroel Moshe Weinreb, and Michael Salvio, President of the Historic Overlook Association.
A plan of action was formulated and has already begun to be implemented:
1) A meeting is planned over the next day with the Mayor. Members of the Yeshiva Community as well as the Historic Overlook Association will attend. The Agenda will be comprised of three parts:
(a) We will request a stronger police presence in our neighborhood – especially at night. We will point out that this is something that we have been promised in the past and have not seen any significant change.
(b) We will discuss how dark our streets are at night. Without more streetlights we can’t possibly expect to feel safe.
(c) Finally, we will request that the 911 dispatch system be improved. This would include a quicker response and a more helpful one
2) The media was contacted. It is our hope that with a spotlight on crime in our neighborhood, the city government will respond quickly and decisively, knowing that the whole Connecticut is watching
3)In order for the Mayor to understand that the entire community stands behind this meeting and that these types of attacks are absolutely unacceptable to us, we need the help of the entire community. We request that every single community member send an e-mail to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Joe Greary, and respectfully but firmly express our dismay about these attacks. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org
4) Please be extra vigilant entering and exiting your home, especially at night. Children should not walk outside after dark unsupervised. Walking in pairs is not enough of a deterrent, as we have seen when a couple was mugged two weeks ago.
5)If you notice a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood try to take note of the license number immediately. This makes it easier for the police to track.
6)If you see anything out of the ordinary do not hesitate to call 911. Additionally, suspicious activity – even someone who just doesn’t look right – can be reported to the Waterbury Citizens Patrol at 203-759-8339.
We are confident that with Hashem’s help we will be successful at keeping our neighborhood safe.
Yeshiva Ateres Shmuel
Kahal B’nai Shalom
Yeshiva K’tana of Waterbury
Hatzalah of Waterbury
Waterbury Citizens Patrol
The Historic Overlook Associaion