New Haven’s Mayor Justin Elicker and Interim Police Chief Renee Dominguez address rising gun violence in the city

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Tyler Dyer, News editor

This Tuesday was the first of many weekly briefings on gun violence and what is being done to prevent it. Officials are seeking to supply residents with more information, particularly about shootings and deaths that continue to affect life in the community. Mayor Justin Elicker (D-New Haven) stated that residents at a community meeting in Fair Haven held Friday, often request that information on violence be provided more regularly. The idea of weekly briefings is based on the coronavirus briefings so residents can obtain more information on violence in the city and what is being done to end it. When it comes to what is causing the violence, the chief explained that there are multiple reasons, including different groups and gangs that are feuding. Also, lately, they have seen gunfire following a dice game and during a fight at a bar.

Elicker explained that there are two components to the city’s strategy to combat the rise of violence. “One is focused on stopping the violence, and two is focusing on getting people the services that they need.” The approach to address violence includes increased cameras in the city, introducing the ShotSpotter system to more of Fair Haven, the area around Interstate 91’s Exit 8, and West Rock. The city will provide efforts to meet and help or dissuade people at risk of becoming involved in violence, an increased number of street outreach workers, social and youth programs, and a re-entry center for people returning to New Haven from prison, as Elicker said.

Dominguez praised the detectives, officers, and district managers who continue to strive to become familiar faces; the department canvassed neighborhoods in the wake of violence, striving to meet face-to-face with people. New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez reported that there have been 144 guns seized with 139 connected arrests as of Tuesday morning. Dominguez said gaining the trust of the community is an issue. The city can uphold the continuing cycle of violence, with hundreds of people grieving losses, or it can be a place where that was stopped. Elicker said the issue comes down to what people want New Haven to be like. The city is asking people to call in any tips they might have, regardless of how small they seem.