With its low self-esteem and high urban blight, Hartford is the ultimate underdog city. Sad City Hartford documents the joys, sorrows and eccentricities of New England's Rising Star.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Albany Ave Substation

The Hartford Courant's Jenna Carlesso wrote an an interesting article about the opening of a new police substation in downtown while the substation on Albany Ave remains closed. It is interesting to note that while the North End clearly needs the extra police presence more than downtown, it is also important that workers and business owners feel safe while coming into town for the few remaining jobs downtown.

We've visited the closed substation on Albany. It's a place to see oddly positioned security cameras, redundant signs, a basketball court wrapped in a yellow fence, and some locals hanging out and shooting the breeze.

Ms. Carlesso's article stated ''In his memo to the council, the mayor said the satellite station would deal with "a recent increase in 'flash mob' violence around the northwest corner of Asylum and Main streets." The "flash mob" reference was because some of the teens had notified others that a fight would take place there beforehand through text messages and social media sites."

Cool. So is this texting and social media stuff is kind of like the 2011 version of "flash mobs" created by the Common Sense pamphlets? And does this now mean we can stash "flash mobs" in the Jump The Shark section of phrases next to "epic fail" and "I just threw up a little bit in my mouth?"

Anyway while this sort of thing is certain to become a political sounding board, we find it harder to believe that there hasn't been an operating substation in the high crime North End. 

Ms. Carlesso's article also had this tidbit "In his letter to the city council, Segarra wrote that "the violence has made area business owners, their employees and their customers feel unsafe in the area and has brought negative publicity to Hartford via both print and electronic media."

Well to be fair, that one brawl did get some media coverage that wasn't helpful to Hartford's image, but we are pretty sure it's shootings and frequency of that do much more to bring negative publicity to Hartford. 

At least the pigeons will watch over the neighborhood.


  1. This annoys me. Hartford officials can't just focus on ways to try and make downtown into a tourist destination and completely turn their backs to the north end. As long as crime in Hartford, especially the north end, is the way it is Hartford will not be a tourist destination. And how about some efforts to make customers and employees at the businesses in the north end feel safe?

  2. Because you cannot fix crime in the north end with money! If you could, there would be no crime, and that's clearly not the case. It's a cultural thing. Short of having the National Guard on patrol 24/7 there's not much that can be done.

  3. We don't need another police substation (or a "small satellite office") across from the Old State House and Burger King, especially when you have one located about 4 blocks south at 525 Main across from the Hartford Public Library, in addition to the new public safety complex 6-7 blocks north on High Street that's scheduled to open next year. Can anyone spell apartheid?

    Is the incumbent administration seriously concerned about flash mobs from our school students? This administration is so out of touch with the community that they are suppose to be serving that they believe they have already won the November 8, 2011 general election.

    This idea was no doubt birthed by the same great thinkers that tried to force a high end supermarket to locate in the middle of a 5 block by 5 block downtown. They think that because it would be nice to have something that the desire to have a thing is all that is necessary to build it.

    Utter and complete madness. No vision, no plan, no sense, that continues the ever growing list of reasons why this administration continues to fail the people that actually live in Hartford and call it home.

    The People vs The Republican Endorsed Broken Democrtic Machine! Hartford must vote for leadership that will fight for the people of the city with an understanding that when you have a relationship with your residents you know who the real criminals are.

  4. @ J. Stan McCauley
    Interesting. How would you fix downtown?
    Businesses have fled because the tax rates are ludicrous at both the state and city level. What would you do about taxes? What about the litter and graffiti? Only someone that has experience in business can make Hartford viable again.

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