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Hartford Sees Its 20th Homicide This Year, More Than All of 2014

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ilirjan rrumbullaku
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Creative Commons
Hartford's skyline in a file photo.
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Credit U.S. Department of Justice
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U.S. Department of Justice
Hartford Police Chief James Rovella in a file photo.

A 25-year-old man has died after a Saturday night shooting in Hartford in the city's 20th homicide this year. There were 19 in all of 2014.

On WNPR's Where We Live, Hartford Police Chief James Rovella attributed much of the violence to people coming into the city from the suburbs.

"When they come in to do their business, we are seeing a lot of these shootings revolve around narcotics along with the simplest of beefs or arguments," Rovella said.

Rovella said his department is working on a long term fix to gun crime in the city. In the meantime, the Hartford Police Department has stepped up patrols in high crime neighborhoods.

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Credit U.S. Department of Justice
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U.S. Department of Justice
Hartford police cruisers in a file photo.

"[We're] not bent on arrests, but bent on visibility and conversation with folks," Rovella said. "Because what happens is the telephone tree starts: the boys -- the police -- are out at this location, or that location; and stay in, and keep your men at home."

But Bishop John Selders, Pastor at Hartford's Amistad United Church of Christ, said more police cruisers won't fix the problem. He said there are "underlying precursors" to gun violence that the city is not addressing.

"Lack of access to education; lack of access to jobs; lack of access to affordable health care; lack of access to a nice, decent, affordable, clean secure living spots," Selders said. "These are precursors that then incubate, if you will, in urban settings."

Earlier this month, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra asked Governor Dannel Malloy for more resources to stem the tide of violence. Malloy offered more personnel to assist in investigating crimes, more parole officers and correctional staff, money for a gun buy back program, and technical resources to help track ex-offenders.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”
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