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First New Haven Homicide In 2018 After City's Record Low Murder Number

Tony Webster
Creative Commons

New Haven police are investigating their first homicide of 2018 after a reported shooting Tuesday night. This comes just after the city released record low homicide numbers last year. According to the city’s police department, homicides in 2017 were the lowest in decades.

There were seven homicides in New Haven in 2017. That’s a significant decrease from 2011 when there were 34. New Haven police spokesman, Officer David Hartman, said this is the lowest number in over 50 years. But it’s not just homicides, violent crime is also down in every category.

“Assaults are down, robbery is down, rape is down,” Hartman said. “And rape is a crime of passion that’s not something that usually is disturbed by an officer on a beat walking down the street. Everything - motor vehicle theft [is] down, and homicides [are] down 79 percent.”

Hartman said while low crime rates follow a national trend, he also attributes New Haven’s numbers to multiple partnerships and programs, including Project Longevity -- an organization that seeks to reduce gun violence -- prison reentry programs, and community policing.

In addition, the city also benefits from law enforcement partnerships like the one with Yale University. Hartman said Yale’s police department adds some 90 officers to the patrol force at the city department.

Homicide numbers were not as low in Bridgeport and Hartford. Both cities saw more than 20 homicides in 2017 - up from 10 and 14 respectively in 2016.

Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.
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