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MAYOR SEGARRA AND CITY COUNCIL ANNOUNCE NEW INITIATIVE TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF HARTFORD RESIDENTS WORKING IN HARTFORD POLICE AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS

(May 12, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, along with the City Council, formally announced a new Public Safety Initiative intended to increase the number of Hartford residents with public safety careers in the City. The primary goal of the proposed initiative is to hire more residents in the Hartford Police Department by creating pathways for young people to the Police Academy, but elements of the initiative would also prepare residents for careers in firefighting and emergency medical response.

The City developed the initiative with help from the Hartford Police Department and the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC), which has experience running a summer program for students from the CREC Public Safety Academy and the Law & Government Academy at Hartford Public High School. The Public Safety Initiative would incorporate CREC's existing summer program and would add new components to reach Hartford students during the school year and beyond high school.  

The initiative calls for four programs:

  • Outreach and recruitment campaigns to inform Hartford residents of the Public Safety Initiative and recruit them as participants. 
  • A five-week summer program for at least 45 high school students from Hartford who have expressed an interest in public safety careers. The program shall include placement in Hartford Police and Fire Departments, training in first aid and CPR, physical fitness, team building and experience with practical law enforcement skills.
  • An extended year program offering mentoring, counseling and stipends during the school year for students who participated in the summer program. 
  • A post-secondary program offering mentoring, counseling, tuition assistance, stipends for books and activities between semesters for students attending colleges or high school graduates who plan to pursue a career in law enforcement. In addition, the program will prepare individuals for exams to enter the Police Academy and to apply for other public safety jobs.

The post-secondary program would fill a gap in support and services between high school and the age of 21, the age requirement to take an exam for admission to the Hartford Police Academy. The Police Cadet Program will continue to be an option for young people ages 18 to 24 and 50 percent of slots in the Police Cadet Program will be made available to participants in the Public Safety Initiative. The age requirement to take the exam for admission to the Fire Academy is 18.

“I’m proud to be announcing this new initiative, the benefits of which are twofold. It will support and guide Hartford residents toward fulfilling careers and it will help the Hartford Police and Fire Departments build stronger relationships with the community,” said Mayor Segarra. “I would like to thank CREC and the City Council for their help and input in creating this initiative, as well as all of our partners who will help us make this a reality in Hartford.”

“I’m happy to see that as a City we are able to address the long overdue issues that affect the Vaughn v. Cintron decree. I am also very pleased that we have established a pipeline for City residents to become public safety officials. This is very monumental for the City of Hartford to be able address the disparities of Hartford residents as it pertains to obtaining such jobs,” said City Councilman Kyle K. Anderson.

“Creating a pipeline for Hartford residents to careers in public safety is one of the most important pieces of legislation this Council and this Mayor will implement," said Councilman Kenneth H. Kennedy, Jr. “This will positively impact our City long-term. I look forward to the program growing and expanding and witnessing its success for years to come.” 

"When we provide our youth with a head start towards a career in public safety, it increases their chances of success. Our hope is that when more of Hartford’s youth pursue a law enforcement career in our city, the stronger our police department will be, and in the long term, the better our City will be,” said Police Chief James C. Rovella.

“This is nothing less than very bold and courageous move by the leadership in our city today. The Mayor and Council have earned the right to know they are moving toward a proactive position. We will save, change and restore hope in our city. This value-driven policy is a national model for other municipalities to follow,” said Pastor Sam Saylor.

"What's most appealing about this program from an educational standpoint is that it permits our students to see a very direct connection between schooling and future employment," said Hartford Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez. "Hartford also stands out as a community where residents and public safety officials work hand-in-hand to contribute to the city's growth."

“Under the leadership of Mayor Segarra and the City Council, this initiative will improve diversity in Hartford Fire, something that benefits the department and the community as a whole,” said Hartford Fire Chief Carlos Huertas. “I welcome all Hartford residents who aspire to be firefighters in our department and look forward to helping them reach their goals.”

“CREC is very pleased to be working collaboratively on this project with the Hartford Police and Fire Departments as well as Capital Work Force Partners.  During our first pilot year we saw tremendous growth for our Hartford teens and the development of mutual respect and appreciation between the students and our police and fire officers,” said Tim Nee, Assistant Executive Director at CREC.

Jahmeelah Bai-Grandson, Principal at Law & Government Academy said, "We have seen tremendous growth in our scholars involved in the Hartford Youth Public Safety Program. They have learned, first hand, the dedication and hard work that it takes to enter careers in law enforcement and public safety. Our scholars are excited about continuing their training and learning." 

On Monday, the City Council referred an ordinance establishing the Public Safety Initiative to the Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee. It will go to public hearing on May 18. Once approved by the City Council, the Public Safety Initiative will be implemented by CREC under the direction of the City. Other partners include Capital Workforce Partners, the Greater Hartford YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs and the Police Athletic League. The Summer Youth Employment Program will move forward as part of the Hartford Public Safety Initiative with 46 Hartford residents who attend either the Law & Government Academy at Hartford Public High School or the CREC Public Safety Academy.

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MAYOR SEGARRA AND BLUE HILLS NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION ZONE CHAIRWOMAN DONNA THOMPSON-DANIEL PARTICIPATE IN GROUNDBREAKING FOR NEW ROBERTA L. JONES PLAYSCAPE

(May 11, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, Donna Thompson-Daniel, chairwoman of the Blue Hills Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ), and City Architect Antonio Matta broke ground for the Roberta L. Jones Playscape, an approximately 15-year-old playground in the Blue Hills neighborhood that will be rebuilt to current safety standards. An existing swing set will be refurbished with new paint and new swings.  The remaining play structure will be replaced in its entirety with new slides, platforms and play features and will include the new City standard rubber tile safety surface. The removed play structure will be donated to the “Kids Around the World” organization that will refurbish and reinstall the playground in a developing nation.  In addition, the playscape will feature a piece of playground equipment designed to look like a fire engine as a testament to Roberta L. Jones’ dedication to the Women’s Auxiliary of the Phoenix Society where she served as president and to the generations of her relatives who served in the Hartford Fire Department.  Jones was a lifelong Hartford resident, the first African American state marshal and an executive assistant to Mayor Thirman L. Milner, as well as an active member of several boards and commissions. The new playground should be completed within six weeks.

“I’m proud to have this playground here in honor of someone who was a devoted member of the community and who worked tirelessly for those around her,” said Mayor Segarra. “I’m also happy to provide children in the neighborhood with a new and safer place to play.”

“Roberta L. Jones was a staple in the Blue Hills neighborhood and she worked hard for the Hartford community as a whole.  She deserves recognition and this wonderful park will ensure that her legacy remains here forever,” said Thompson-Daniel.

The Roberta L. Jones Playscape, located in a largely residential neighborhood at the corner of Cornwall and Chatham Streets, will be installed by GameTime MRC.

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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS OFFERS FREE COMPOST TO HARTFORD RESIDENTS, EXTENDS CURBSIDE LEAF PICKUP

(May 8, 2015) The City of Hartford’s Department of Public Works (DPW) is offering certified organic compost, made of leaves collected in the fall, to Hartford residents at no charge. Residents can take up to 32 gallons of compost from the Bulky Waste and Recycling Center, located at 180 Leibert Rd., Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m..  Residents are required to bring photo identification, their own containers, shovels and gloves. The program starts today and will continue while supply lasts, which is typically through May. The program, which is in its fifth year of operation, is also made available to local community gardens.

In addition, DPW will continue curbside pickup of leaves until May 22. Leaves must be placed in paper leaf bags and will be picked up on residents’ regular trash days. After May 22, residents can deliver leaves to the recycling center at no charge or can use them to create a backyard composting program.  Those who are interested in backyard composting can request information from Sanitation Inspector Alffe Blake at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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MAYOR SEGARRA NAMES CONTESTANTS FOR FIREBALL RUN REALITY SERIES LAUNCHING IN HARTFORD IN SEPTEMBER

(May 6, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra released the name of the local business owners competing against international astronauts, television celebrities and dozens of other teams from across the country in “Fireball Run: Space Race,” a trivia-themed race from Hartford to Florida’s Space Coast that will be recorded in real time and streamed online.  Four teams of international astronauts will compete against teams of television celebrities, business owners, senior level executives, industry celebrities and elected officials. Contestants will race in vehicles of their choice, which can be anything from exotic sports cars to everyday sedans. Bear’s Smokehouse owner, Jamie McDonald, will represent the City of Hartford and will drive an ex-military M925 5 Ton transport truck along with Winfield Latif, owner of Tangiers International Market.  

Hartford was chosen as the starting point for the series, which is in its ninth season and is viewed by 1.7 million people worldwide. Crews have been in Hartford since November recording notable locations in preparation for the show. Live recording begins September 26, 2015 at Bushnell Park where nearly $30 million worth in automobiles, including some of those competing in the race, will be on display. The race kicks off September 27, 2015 and ends October 3, 2015 at Cocoa Beach, Florida during a parade with over 30,000 spectators. 

“Over 1 million people around the world will have the opportunity to see just how special Hartford is and learn more about our rich cultural history," said Mayor Segarra. “I want to thank Jamie and Winfield for taking on this challenge, thank all the staff for their hard work and thank Fireball Run for selecting Hartford. This is a great opportunity for residents to show their pride for our great city.”

Among the astronauts who are participating are Captain Jon McBride, a retired NASA astronaut; Lt. Col. Marcos Pontes, Brazil’s first astronaut; Cmdr. Rakesh Sharma, India’s first astronaut; and Gen. Jean-Loup Chretien, a former French astronaut. Television celebrities include Jacqueline Siegel, from the documentary, “The Queen of Versailles”; Adrianne Curry, a reality television personality; Grant Imahara, an electronics expert known for his work on the television show, “Myth Busters”; and Ray McCelland, co-host of the television series, “Car Warriors.”

While competing against one another, show participants will also raise awareness for America’s missing children. The series has aided in the recovery of 44 missing children for the Child Rescue Network, a Florida-based nonprofit. The event was created in 2007 by Brock Yates a former editor at Car & Driver magazine.

“Fireball Run: Space Race” premieres June 2016. The series is available on GooglePlay, Roku, AmazonfireTV, SmartTV, NEO-TV, and Chromecast. Past seasons and episodes are available online at www.fireballrun.com. Several private events will also take place during the live production dates.

Anyone with questions or anyone interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Lauren Varjabedian at (860) 707-3258.

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