Standing next to the spot where a young mother was gunned down carrying a bottle of milk for her baby, Hartford’s mayor and police chief vowed to “redouble” their efforts to crack down on the city’s escalating gun violence, says the Hartford Courant. So far this year, 10 people have een killed and dozens more wounded. The 21-year-old woman’s death also prompted Mayor Eddie Perez and Police Chief Patrick Harnett to hasten the announcement of a new initiative against gun violence. The plan began yesterday with foot and bicycle patrols on problem streets that have endured the highest rate of shootings and gun slayings this year.
So far this year, there have been 85 people struck by gunfire in Hartford, up from about 54 this time last year. “There’s going to be a lot of blue uniforms out here,” the chief said. More officers will work on finding out how guns and drugs are finding their way to young people. Saying that gun violence has reached crisis proportions, Perez has asked Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell if state police troopers and detectives can help patrol troubled city neighborhoods. “The root cause of crime in our community comes from people in this neighborhood tolerating it,” Perez said. Responded one local acctivist: “Wow, we’re the ones being shot at, and now he’s telling us we’re the ones to blame.”