Youth programs, resources for police department possible solutions to Hartford violence

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HARTFORD--Mayor Pedro Segarra is responding to the spike in violent crimes in the city, saying the community needs to do more to stop it.

He said, “We’re in this together and we depend on our communities and our community leaders to join in together.”

So far in 2015 there have been 12 homicides; at this point last year, there had been just four.

On Friday afternoon, Mayor Segarra brought together police, clergy members and community leaders to discuss solutions. The meeting was closed to anyone not invited, including members of the media.

Hyacinth Yennie of the Maple Avenue Revitalization Group was invited to the table. She said she left the discussion feeling hopeful.

“You need to have constructive meetings where you need to get something out of it, sometimes you need to have small groups,” said Yennie.

Segarra says some of the potential solutions discussed involve seeking state and federal grants for additional community youth programs, and working with the chief of police to make sure the department receives any additional resources it may need.

Chief James Rovella said, “It comes down to overtime money to continually staff our patrol model and our community service model.”

Segarra planned to take executive actions Friday evening to direct current resources to stopping these crimes. He says there will be more meetings as soon as next week to keep this conversation going.