Hartford police to join discussion following shootings in Tulsa, - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford police to join discussion following shootings in Tulsa, Charlotte

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New Life Church in Hartford. (WFSB photo) New Life Church in Hartford. (WFSB photo)

In light of the police shootings in Tulsa, OK and Charlotte, NC, Hartford police said community conversations are more important than ever.

That's why they said they're joining another gathering on Saturday to try and address problems before they come up.

"I'm hoping the community truly sees there are leaders that care," said Rev. Eli Mercado, Hartford Faith Based Initiative.

Mercado said he has seen violence in his home city. He said he's been relying on his faith to help families through their darkest times.

Now, he wanted to help those families reach out to each other.

"You might have a neighbor that's going through something, and you might know of someone who can help them, if you can't yourself," Mercado said. "But that comes through building that connection, and really understanding each other."

Saturday, Mercado's Faith Based Initiative is holding a "Know Thy Neighbor" Day in the Clay Hill Neighborhood.

The initiative has held meetings like that before in the Frog Hollow neighborhood.

Also attending will be Hartford police officers like Sgt. Steven Austin.

"[We're looking to] to bring about change, start a new narrative in the city of Hartford," he said.

Austin said the events in Charlotte and Tulsa this week have them focusing on community more than ever. They want to come together instead of draw apart.

"I would be remiss to say it couldn't happen here, but getting out ahead of it and talking, communicating, transparency, these are the things you want with our community and with leadership," Austin said.

The gathering is set for 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It'll be followed by a community cleanup and a barbecue.

It's happening at the New Life Church on Mather Street.

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