New London police looking to add more foot patrols

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — More New London police officers may be walking the beat. The department is looking to add foot patrols in the downtown area.

“I love to see the policemen out,” said Suzanne Simpson. “It reminds me of growing up and we always were friendly with the police, friendly with the fire department.”

She says she’s always felt safe walking in New London, but she supports the police chief’s proposal to bring back foot patrols in the downtown area.

“There’s always a stigma with New London and crime, so I think that will alleviate that,” said the New London resident.

The foot patrols would be 24 hours a day, but at the end of the week depending on manpower, weather, and other factors. If it was 24/7, the cost would be $30,000 a month.

The owner of the Bank Street Cobbler, a downtown fixture for 40 years, thinks it’s worth the money.

“I think that’s the best thing they can think of because we’re missing that,” said Christos Armoutsoglou. “I see a lot of destruction on the street from time to time and I would say that would be a superb idea.”

The police department is still short-staffed, but is looking to add more officers along with the foot patrols and two canine units. The chief will present her proposal to the city council next week.

“I think that would help merchants and the people walking back and forth and everything else,” said Armoutsoglou.

While most people who live and work in the downtown area seem to like the idea of having officers on foot, there are some who question whether or not the city has the manpower or money to support those extra shifts.

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