Last fall, we reinvigorated a block watch in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven after an increase in muggings in the neighborhood. We came together as a group to look for solutions and ways to partner with the police to help the situation. It was our third meeting when we identified a few issues that might be contibuting to the crime in our neighborhood, a dark street and bridge and a need for increased police patrols.
At that same meeting, Ben Berkowitz from SeeClickFix came and demonstrated his amazing website. There were a few users in our group already, but as he spoke, you could see all the lightbulbs go off in the room. That night, I posted “Dark Court Street Bridge” on SeeClickFix, then emailed the block watch list with a link. In a matter of days our issue soared to the top of the city’s issue list. Next the local paper called to do a story, they had seen it on SeeClickFix. Then we visited the Mayor and brought print outs of our posts. Neighbors posted pictures, commented and voted.
Within one month, we had temporary lighting and a proposal from the city for the first ever solar lights in New Haven. This is only one story of how using SeeClickFix enhances and supports the voices of citizens. Our elected officials and city departments watch and respond. As a neighborhood, we are ”watching.” We feel empowered and heard. Posting our lighting and mugging issues on SeeClickFix set off a chain reaction that has led to better police patrolling and arrests.