9/2/2015 - Waterbury doesn't mind being at bottom of this list

This graphic below from today’s Hartford Courant shows that among the largest New England cities, Waterbury has had the lowest number of murders this year. While Mayor O’Leary is proud to see Waterbury at the bottom of this list, he agrees that even one murder is too many. Mayor O’Leary, the former police chief, believes one reason Waterbury is at the bottom of this list is the success of the Waterbury Police Activities League – also known as Waterbury PAL. The organization’s motto, “Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders,” embodies the Mayor’s belief that PAL provides our youth, including many who come from low-income households, with positive role models who instill in the children a sense of citizenship and civic duty. The Waterbury PAL began with fewer than 100 members but has grown and blossomed under the O’Leary Administration. It now has more than 4,200 members. PAL programs focus on sports but there is also a strong focus on education and doing homework. The full-time officers assigned to PAL are great role models to our PAL children, many of whom lack those in their lives. Mayor O’Leary remains convinced the successes of the PAL program are why Waterbury does not experience the youth crime found in other large Connecticut cities. The PAL Complex on Division Street was once a blighted Brownfield. But under the O’Leary Administration, it was cleaned and transformed into what it is today. The creation of the PAL Complex also helped revitalize the Division Street neighborhood. Mayor O’Leary is in Chicago this week at the 16th National Brownfields Training Conference, where he will give a presentation Thursday about the restoration of PAL Park and the PAL Complex. The success of the Waterbury Industrial Commons, a former Brownfield that has been transformed into a world-class industrial park, will also be discussed at the conference.