Hartford mayor, police chief head to D.C. for policing forum aft - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford mayor, police chief head to D.C. for policing forum after violent weekend

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A vigil was held Tuesday night for Jonathan Whaley. (WFSB photo) A vigil was held Tuesday night for Jonathan Whaley. (WFSB photo)

While Hartford has been recognized for community policing, it comes during one of the worst years for violent crime in the capitol city. Mayor Pedro Segarra and Chief James Rovella headed to Washington D.C. on Wednesday to take part in a community policing forum at the White House.

The trip comes after the capital city saw its 18th homicide of the year and a wave of shootings, all over the weekend.

The spike in violence has prompted city officials to send more manpower and resources to Hartford. Now, extra state police troopers will be working the Hartford Police Department.

"Hartford has to continue the process of lowering crime,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said. “Crime overall is down 2 percent last year - unfortunately homicides are up and we intend to help them with that."

Jonathan Whaley, 34, was identified as the victim of Saturday’s shooting.

While Segarra and Rovella look for ways to stop the violence, loved ones gathered on Tuesday night to remember Whaley, who was a father of seven children.

Police said they are still trying to determine a motive for the shooting. The victim was killed in front of a home. The suspect allegedly opened fire after an argument.

Whaley’s parents told Eyewitness News that they are in disbelief. Tuesday, they celebrated his life.

“[He was] loving, funny, everything a mother would want,” said Adele Turner, Whaley’s mother.

"I'm just trying to be strong right now," said Ishmeal Turner, Whaley’s stepfather.

Police said the investigation is ongoing. No arrests have made in the shooting.

The city has a shooting task force. But, over the years staff has been cut back because violent crime was had been going down.

“The numbers were going down and also both the state and city were having challenges in terms of balancing our budgets,” Segarra said.

The now beefed up task force has made some progress. Eyewitness News was told two guns were taken away over the weekend from a man on probation.

Those, who live in Hartford, said they are used to rough times. Arcides Carrero admitted to being in a gang once and using drugs. Now, he said he’s trying to live a clean life.

"It’s hard sometimes for young boys. They don't know what they are getting into,” Carrero said. “Sometimes they get out and that's the hard part. But, they have to do what they can do to survive out there."

Anyone with any information about any of the recent violence in the capitol city is asked to call Hartford Crime Stoppers at 860-722-TIPS or by texting TIP711 (24637). 

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