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City Officials Working to Combat Gun Violence Amid Increase in Shootings

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City officials are working to combat gun violence amid an increase in shootings in New Haven.

Mayor Justin Elicker and Police Chief Renee Dominguez addressed gun violence in New Haven on Tuesday at what will become a weekly installment for updates on shots fired, arrests, gun seizures and new initiatives that are aimed at combating violent crimes.

Elicker said he has held meetings to hear from the public and city residents believe it is important to get more regular information about the progress on confronting the violence.

According to Elicker, the city is implementing evidence-based interventions, which includes more police walking and bicycle beats, enhanced youth programming, more street outreach workers and wrap around services for people who are re-entering the community.

A new city department called the Office of Violence Prevention is also being created, Elicker added.

More cameras and additional ShotSpotter locations are being added throughout the city as a way to help combat the crime, Elicker said. According to Dominguez, ShotSpotter is what initially alerts police to a shooting so it's helpful that it is being expanded.

Three people from Connecticut State Police are joining New Haven's shooting task force, Dominguez said. Together, they should be able to investigate more cases, she added.

This comes as there is a surge in violence in New Haven. Earlier this month, there were three homicides in a week.

Police said this year, there have been 83 shootings and 22 homicides so far. Last year at the end of the year, they said there were 20 homicides total.

Three homicides in one week have sparked conversation among New Haven leaders, police department and the community.

As of this morning, 144 guns have been seized and 139 arrests have been made. At this time last year, there were 97 guns seized with a little over 110 arrests.

Dominguez said some of the shootings are groups or gangs that are feuding with each other while others are isolated incidents where the people involved know each other, but aren't part of a group or gang.

City officials remind residents that no tip is too small and all tips are investigated.

The anonymous tip line is always available and police said you can leave or as little or as much information as you want. It is completely anonymous and there is no way to track the person or phone number where the information comes from, authorities added.

The weekly updates will be held on Fridays at 10:30 a.m. starting on Sept. 24.

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