Hamden’s Farmer could face new Democratic main challenger in 5th arrondissement

HAMDEN – A new challenger has pulled out papers to demand his way to a Democratic primary against 5th District Councilor Justin Farmer, while another candidate has withdrawn from the race, according to the registrar’s office.

Montrel Morrison, who runs a youth mentoring organization and previously served on the city’s Social Services Commission, has until next Wednesday to get the required 144 signatures from Democratic voters in that district.

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Kim Washington withdrew her petition for the 5th District seat, Democratic Registrar Rose Mentone told the New Haven Register in an email on Monday.

Morrison said he was a longtime resident who has long been involved in the community. He has worked on political campaigns before and is one year away from earning a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut, he said.

“I just understood with all the skills that I have (learned) over the years… now is the time (to run for office),” Morrison said, adding that it was “time for a change”.

Public safety, a contentious issue in a city that saw a spate of shootings earlier this year, is emerging as a central theme of the contest between Morrison and Farmer.

On some issues, Morrison and Farmer overlap. They both stressed the importance of tackling the scourge, increasing services for young people and providing “comprehensive services” as a means of reducing crime and improving the quality of life in South Hamden.

But Morrison said his views differed from Farmer’s, suggesting he wanted to invest in more manpower and technology for the police department and focus on “(taking) care of men and women. women who put their lives at risk “by improving mental health. services available to agents.

Farmer, a well-known police accountability advocate, community organizer and self-proclaimed “police abolitionist”, also said he wanted to improve public safety. Farmer wants to reallocate police funds and invest in community services, he said, arguing that directly tackling economic and social problems would be a more cost-effective way to improve public safety and prevent crime.

Farmer said he didn’t want to get rid of the police department overnight; it would be “chaos,” he said.

Instead, he called on voters to rethink public safety.

“Education is public safety. Enveloping services are public safety, ”he said.

As for the expansion of the department, “we don’t have the money in the town of Hamden,” Farmer said, lamenting the town’s tax rate, which has hovered close to 60 miles in the past year. fiscal.

Meanwhile, Morrison argued that police funding would be destructive.

“I think that’s where Justin and I disagree,” he said. “Defining the police is just a recipe for disaster. … We are supposed to have rules and regulations.

He said he would find creative ways to foot the bill – not just for the police, but for other services. He wants the city to seek grants for the department’s technology to help prevent and solve crime, which would improve road safety, he said.

He would also pursue partnerships with local organizations and charitable donations to fund the services he advocates for, he said.

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