Hartford Shooting Task Force Says It’s Helped Cut Gun Homicides 40%


A year after Hartford’s latest effort to combat gun violence began, the city’s shooting task force said the number of gun-related homicides dropped by more than 40 percent during the last year, and first-degree assaults with firearms decreased by nearly 30 percent, the Hartford Courant reports. Acting Police Chief James Rovella said the task force is set to run through the fall, but that he would push to extend it. He said the effort has been effective in targeting the city’s most violent criminals

“We’re now seeing that we are fishing with more of a spear” instead of a net, he said. “I don’t look for hundreds and hundreds of arrests. I look for those violent people that are impacting our city and our region on a daily basis.” The shooting task force, created July 5, 2011, as a way to quell escalating gun violence, has made more than 214 felony arrests and more than 50 misdemeanor arrests since its inception, according to the city. Members also have seized 76 firearms. Hyacinth Yennie, a city activist, said the effort has helped residents feel more comfortable. “You’re not going to satisfy everyone, but at least there is a sense of calmness in the city,” she said. “That’s what we needed.”

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