Hartford Mayor Calls on Governor to Help Combat Rash of Violence

The mayor of Hartford is calling on Gov. Dannel Malloy for help in light of a recent spike of violence in the city that has made it the homicide capital of New England.

Hartford has seen 17 homicides so this year, the highest number in the region. Many remain unsolved, and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra sent a letter to the governor Thursday pleading for more resources.

"The Shooting Task Force originally implemented by the Chief State Attorney's Office has successfully reduced violent crimes during the past five years by responding to shots fired complaints, investigating less lethal gun assaults and pursuing firearm seizures and arrests," Segarra wrote. "Since 2011, the personnel assigned to the City's Shooting Task Force has declined by two thirds."

The mayor called the uptick in crime a "regional issue" not limited to the city itself.

Segarra is asking for three additional investigative detectives from state police, three inspectors from the chief state's attorney's office and to increase the current part-time probation and parole staff to full-time.

City Councilman Kyle Anderson, who chairs Hartford's Quality of Life Public Safety and Housing Committee, supports the move.

"Once the crimes happen, we want to solve them immediately, because we want to get the shooters off the street," said Anderson. "You've got to look how to solve it when it happens, but we also have to look at measures for how we prevent it from happening."

Anderson said the city is relying on help from the public.

"The community has to stand up and say, 'Listen, we want to be part of the solution too. We want to say if I see something, I need to say something,'" Anderson said.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice will train civil unrest marshals from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Hartford Communities that Care Headquarters at 2550 Main Street.

The public is encouraged to attend alongside city leaders, police and pastors.

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