The number of shootings on Hartford streets has dropped significantly since police launched an initiative to blanket troubled neighborhoods with more patrols, says the Hartford Courant. The initiative, launched June 22, was a response to a spiraling increase in shootings. State troopers were called in to bolster patrols, more uniformed and plainclothes officers were sent to the streets, and special investigations into drug and gun trafficking were launched.
Hartford Police Chief Patrick Harnett credited the decrease not only to the neighborhoods initiative, but to the efforts of the individual officers walking beats, working undercover, and teaming up with state and federal officers. The Rev. Donald Johnson, leader of the HOPE Street Ministries anti-violence group, has seen a noticeable decrease in tension throughout the area. Residents are nervous about whether Hartford will have enough officers to maintain that peace once the state troopers leave, Johnson said. “The worry is whether this is a quick fix, or medicating the problem.”