New Haven clergy members to address violent start to the year

Clergy members to address gun violence in New Haven
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Elm City clergy members will address the deadly start to the new year in New Haven.

When it comes to the city’s plan on stopping gun violence, they feel they should be a part of it.

The greater New Haven Clergy Association is hosting a forum at the First Calvary Baptist Church Thursday night.

They say they want to hear from the chief and the local prosecutors about how they’re tackling the recent uptick.

They also say they too have a plan and want to be part of the solution, but so far they haven’t given any details.

It’s a scene that’s played five times in just the first four weeks of 2023.

New Haven police, investigating a deadly shooting and for those calling the Elm City home, its one they’d rather not have to see.

“I watch it on TV, on the news every morning, it makes me crazy. I don’t even leave the house,” said Gwen of New Haven.

While the city says crime has trended down over the past few years, they’ve already seen five homicides to start the year. A broad daylight shootout between two cars last week started in New Haven and ended in Hamden with one man being shot.

Earlier this week, members of the Greater New Haven Clergy Association said they’re coming up with their own plan to address the violence.

Their issue is they say the city doesn’t reach out to them for input.

“Invite us to the table and hear some ideas, we live here, we know the people here,” said Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber with the First Calvary Baptist Church.

A week ago, New Haven’s mayor and police chief highlighted its multi-pronged approach and the steps the city is taking, everything from community policing, its shooting task force and adding technology like cameras, to preventive programs like offering support services to those at highest risk of gun violence.

Earlier this month the city announced it hired a coordinator for its new office of violence prevention to work with all the departments.

“It’s a state of emergency and we’re not blaming anyone. What we want to do is be a part of solution and we cannot be a part of the solution if we’re not invited in the room about what’s happening in our community,” said Kimber.

Mayor Justin Elicker said the city has held public safety town halls, community management team meetings, saying they’re always eager to engage with residents about what’s going on and how they can improve. He added the police department even has a clergy academy.

In a statement, Elicker said:

Thursday’s forum is set for 6 p.m. at the First Calvary Baptist Church.

Clergy works on plan to address violence in New Haven