Harp: Proposal to scrap fence ‘right thing to do’

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Mayor Toni Harp says outrage over the proposed tearing down of a fence between New Haven and Hamden is overblown.

“It’s a very different income mix than was there before and even if it (wasn’t), it’s the right thing to do,” Harp said.

The fence is three-tenths of a mile long and runs adjacent to Woodin Street. It’s located in New Haven, although for years it was thought to be on the Hamden side. Now, New Haven wants to take it down as part of the construction of a new mixed income apartment complex.

But people in Hamden won’t have it.

“In the past, anytime there was a breach in the fence the crime rate in the neighborhood went up,” one Hamden resident said at a public forum Monday night where residents protested the fence’s removal.

Said another Hamden resident about criminals from New Haven leaking through the fence: “I have had bicycles stolen and I have had vandalism done to my house.”

But Harp says patrols will be there to protect residents of both municipalities. “What we will have out there is a substation that will be manned by both New Haven police as well as Hamden police,” she said.

One woman on the New Haven side said, fence or no fence, it doesn’t make that much of a difference.

“Crime happens everywhere, you can’t stop the devil,” she said. “Just call 911, that’s what they are here for.”

AJ Walker reporting

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