Hartford mayor addresses recent city violence - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Hartford mayor addresses recent city violence

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Hartford mayor Luke Bronin (WFSB File) Hartford mayor Luke Bronin (WFSB File)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Violence is no stranger to Hartford, but the capitol city has been trying to fight back over the last couple of years.

More police on the street and on their bike with the warmer weather but it’s a year-long battle coming up with plans to try and make the city a better place.

As of Wednesday, there have been 72 shootings and 9 homicides since the beginning of the year.

“A lot of that violence is linked to the drug trade the opioid trade. It's not random violence it's targeted violence but we obviously take it very, very seriously,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

Last year, there were 53 shootings and 12 homicides.  Community members have called for more police officers.

“Unfortunately, for a number of years before I took office, the city had not recruited and as a result, you had a lot of officers who were reaching retirement age and not enough coming in to backfill,” said Bronin.

Since Bronin took office, 66 officers have been recruited, bringing the total to just under 400 right now.

There had been an independent study recommending the city have 482 officers and they've been aggressively recruiting.

“We have slightly more officers right now than we did this time last year,” said Bronin.

A police class graduated in March, another group is in the academy right now, and on Monday a new recruitment round was opened so residents can apply now.

The city is also focusing on engaging youth.

“Created a youth service core that put 250 young people including young people who have faced some challenges,” said Bronin.

Most recently, the city has been working on a proposal to Bloomberg Philanthropies called "Action" to provide therapy to children that may witness violence.

“It’s about trying to use the technology we've got our shotspotter system to sync up with our early childhood learning providers,” Bronin said.

Bronin is expected to announce more on policing and youth engagement programs this month.

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