State Police Troopers to Help Combat Violent Crime in Hartford

State troopers are teaming up with Hartford police after a surge in shootings and homicides in the state's capital city.

The first time state police partnered with Hartford officers in the early 1990s, troopers rode shotgun in Hartford cruisers, scanning rooftops for snipers while police swept the streets of gang members.

This time is different. The administration of Gov. Dannel Malloy is sending in probation officers and parole officers to track down "the 1 percent" police think are responsible for most violent crime.

Three state police detectives and their sergeant helped Hartford detectives investigate shootings this weekend.

"They found some witnesses for one of the shootings," said Hartford Police Chief James Rovella. "They also found a name of one of the shooters, so without revealing the details of that case, I would say it's already paid dividends."

He didn't say which shooting they helped handle. It might have been the murder of Jonathan Whaley in the city's South End on Saturday, or the shooting of a teenager Sunday at Martin and Judson in the North End, or the shootings in a North Main Street nightclub parking lot that are all part of a spike in Hartford violence.

Not everyone is optimistic about the partnership, however.

"We don't need a Band-Aid's fix. We need a long-term solution," said community activist Rev. Henry Brown, of Hartford. "I don't think that's goin gto do anything. I think what we need is an influx of police officers. I would have felt better if he said he was going to send in state police in general."

Gov. Dannel Malloy said he hoped more manpower would help but said he knows "sometimes one homicide leads to another homicide, or bad language and words lead to other bad language and words, which leads to a shooting and in some cases a homicide."

He said his administration is offering Hartford even more than Mayor Pedro Segarra requested last week. For his part, Segarra is asking for even more than he did last week. He wants a state police traffic unit.

"Guns and drugs do move through vehicles and I think that a greater collaboration and partnering with the state police in that effort could be beneficial for us," said Segarra, who is running for re-election.

Segarra and Malloy met Monday to discuss strategies.

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