Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts held a press conference yesterday to announce successful results from the HPD’s Safe Summer Initiative,
Since June 17th, 2007, said Roberts, the Vice and Narcotics Division has made 325 arrests citywide, seized 130 bags, 22 ounces and 2.5 pounds of Marijuana, more than 100 grams of Cocaine, 2,128 bags of Heroin, two cars and over $20,000 in U.S. Currency. Among the nation’s 29 Violent Crime Impact Teams (VCIT), the Hartford Police Department’s VCIT, for the reporting period of June 3 through June 30th, 2007, was second in the nation in arrests, second in firearms arrests, and third in total firearms recovered, ahead of major cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New Orleans.
However, Roberts added, “Unfortunately, despite our ongoing efforts, in the second week of July we witnessed an acute rise in homicides within two of the City’s neighborhoods. This violence has resulted in a perception that public safety may be jeopardized and beyond the control of the police department. In response, the Hartford Police Department has increased enforcement activity through both uniformed and investigative personnel in these areas.”
One important and necessary component of this initiative, Roberts said, is to increase the amount of directed patrols through the application of additional uniformed personnel. Citizens will shortly see additional bicycle patrols as officers are completing intensive bicycle training and bikes are prepared. Additionally, the Connecticut State Police has supplied the department with ten (10) additional vehicles at a reduced rate.
Roberts had high praise for the men and women of his department as well as other agencies who have assisted the HPD. But he also compliment ordinary citizens, saying, “I want to express my appreciation to the crime solvers of the city - those people who have put their trust and support in the police department. I am truly humbled by their willingness to help the the police in our efforts to reduce crime and the fear of crime - it is only with their support that we can achieve this goal.”