HARTFORD — The summer heat often brings a spike in violence for violent offenders on the streets.
The spotlight is being put on Connecticut’s three big cities. More resources like state police troopers are being diverted to Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport.
July, 2019 has been Hartford’s deadliest month in 4 years. Xavier Rolon of Hartford said, “This city sounds like it’s becoming a dangerous place to walk the streets.”
There was a deadly shooting on Wednesday followed by a stabbing on Thursday. “Who wants to walk the streets having to look over their shoulder?” asked Rolon.
Rolon knows these streets all too well. “I believe in, you stay out of trouble and trouble doesn’t come to you,” he said.
But one night he proved himself wrong. “Out of nowhere these two guys ran up on me, one with a gun.”
There have been six Hartford homicides since July 1st. 16 murders so far this year. Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella said, “It is a public health epidemic.”
The summer spike is catching the attention of city leaders. “In the last several years there always seems to be a pattern. This one has absolutely no pattern,” said City Councilor James Sanchez.
It's also caught the attention Governor Ned Lamont. “We are never going to have great cities unless we have great safe cities,” he said during a news conference earlier this week.
He’s diverting more money to keep young people off the streets. It’s called ‘Project Longevity.’ Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez said, “Our biggest problem is the juveniles.”
But, Hartford’s community leaders say the money needs to filter to the local level.
Donald Padgett of Walk in the Light Deliverance Church of Hartford said, “The grassroots organizations that are doing the work in the community. We need help.”
They want the community to cooperate with police. “If they see something, say something. Because you could save a life,” said Padgett.
Their going door to door to spread the message that snitching on killers is a good thing. “It’s time to step up to the plate and let’s cut this nonsense about no snitching,” said Sanchez.
“We hit these streets and we tell these people, you have to put the guns down. Because what you are doing is destroying our community,” said Rev. Henry Brown from Mothers United Against Violence.
The last time 6 people were killed in a month was in May of 2015. It was a year that ended with 31 total homicides.