Yale Police Union Flyers Warn Freshman About Crime

Published: August 29, 2023

New Haven, Connecticut — As first-year Yale students arrived on campus last week, members of the university’s police union passed out hundreds of flyers, warning freshman that “The incidence of crime and violence in New Haven is shockingly high, and it is getting worse.”

It advised students to avoid public transportation, remain on campus, not to walk alone, and to stay off the streets after 8 p.m. The flyer also included an image of the Grim Reaper, ominously wishing students “Good luck,” reports the Yale Daily News.

This is at least the fifth time the Yale Police Benevolent Association has warned students about violent crime in New Haven during contract negotiations. The union’s contract expired last month.

Union President Mike Hall said the flyers were intended to get the attention of new students and didn’t have anything to do with the contract negotiations, reports ABC News.

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However, Yale Police Chief Anthony Campbell said the union was offended by the university’s latest proposed dollar amount and passed out the flyers in response.

New Haven police, Yale police, and community and city leaders spoke out against the distribution of the flyers, reports NBC Connecticut.

“I’m really disgusted that they have chosen to take this path,” said Campbell at a press conference. “I think it is divisive and destructive for any police officer to disparage the city in which they work.”

He also said the flyers wrongly painted New Haven as a war zone, reports Yahoo News. The flyers said that “During the seven month period ending July 23, 2023, murders have doubled, burglaries are up 33% and motor vehicle thefts are up 56%.”

Although Mayor Justin Elicker said the crime statistics on the flyer are accurate, he said they were cherry-picked and misleading. According to Elicker, violent crime has decreased 29.2% since 2020, property crime is down nearly 8%, and other crimes have decreased 19%. Homicides have increased, but the number of shootings has decreased.

Yale has a long history of town-gown relationship challenges, reports Yahoo News. Most of the school’s students are White, while New Haven, which has a history of struggling with crime and poverty, is primarily comprised of Black residents.

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