A year ago, city leaders touted the success of the Hartford Shooting Task Force, pointing to statistics showing that gun-related homicides had dropped by more than 40 percent and that first-degree assaults with firearms had decreased by nearly 30 percent from a year earlier.
Mayor Pedro Segarra said that he would keep the unit operating indefinitely, and law enforcement authorities stressed the importance of consistency in targeting violent crime.
But a year later, the task force has shrunk to about half its peak size, from 40 or 50 members to less than 20, Police Chief James Rovella said.
The number of shooting victims has increased 9 percent from this time last year. Rovella indicated that the increase was due, at least in part, to budget cuts that affected police staffing.