Police Seek Out Hartford's Homeless as Bitter Cold Arrives

As bitter cold descends around the state, police officers in Hartford are searching the city for those in need of a warm place to stay.

"We've got to look out for folks that may not necessarily be able to look out for themselves," explained Hartford police Sgt. Jeffrey Morrison.

Police patrolling the city are taking a closer look at the side streets and alleyways of Hartford, keeping an eye out for some of the city's most vulnerable.

Scanning under bridges and places that help deflect the wind, Morrison found blankets and sleeping bags but no one settling down for the night. The frigid weather can be a dangerous time for the homeless, so police want to make sure they have somewhere to go.

"Hypothermia can set in very quickly, especially if you're not properly layered up, if you don't have the proper clothing, you don't have the proper shelter," Morrison said.

Even if Hartford shelters reach capacity, police will make sure to find the homeless someplace safe to weather the storm.

"Sometimes we have to go out of town. We have to bring them out to Manchester, East Hartford, New Britain, Tolland," Morrison explained. "They really need to be out of this cold. It's not healthy, not safe for anybody."

As the temperatures continue to drop over the next few days and wind chills dip below zero, police will make the rounds at places outside where the homeless are known to spend time.

"All police officers, our primary job is a caretaker, the preservation of life and property," said Morrison.

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