Beginning Monday, state police will begin a 15-week joint effort with Hartford police to reduce violence and combat crime on city streets.
Operation Safe City 2008 will feature the addition of 12 uniformed state troopers and two supervisors under an agreement reached this week between state and city police officials, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
State troopers will work alongside their city counterparts in park-and-walk and bike patrols, with two to four troopers assigned to bike patrols. The patrols will continue through late September. Sources familiar with the deployment plan said the city will assign four officers to task forces earmarked to combat auto theft, narcotics and firearms.
Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts said Wednesday night in an e-mail that officials were still working out the "logistics."
State Police Spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said details of how many state troopers will be assigned and what they will be doing have "not been finalized." Vance said state police started meeting with Roberts on Tuesday and meetings are scheduled until Friday.
The number of state troopers for this summer's planned operation exceeds help provided in 2006, when four state troopers were assigned to Hartford's Operation True North. The initiative was created by former Police Chief Patrick J. Harnett to curb gun violence in Hartford's North End.
Less than a month ago, Roberts and Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez announced a plan to put more city police officers on the street after nearly 200 gun-related incidents were reported in less than two months this spring. There have been 92 shooting victims in the city this year as of June 7, and more than five shooting deaths, city records show.
Last week, Gov. M. Jodi Rell called Perez offering the state's assistance after a weeklong series of violent incidents that included a hit-and-run on Park Street that left a 78-year-old pedestrian paralyzed from the neck down; and the beating and robbery of former Deputy Mayor Nicholas Carbone, 71, on Capitol Avenue. Those two incidents were followed by the death of a 14-year-old boy who was riding in a stolen van and two shooting deaths.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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