The city is seeking $60,000 from the state to help implement Project Longevity, an initiative aimed at creating a partnership among community members, service organizations and law enforcement to deter homicides and shootings.
Officials have requested the money from the state's Office of Policy and Management. It would be used to hire a project manager, who is in charge of coordinating the effort in Hartford.
Mayor Pedro Segarra said he has identified a person to fill the manager role, but he declined to identify the person.
Project Longevity, devised by criminologist David M. Kennedy, was introduced in New Haven nearly a year ago.
Under the program, researchers study gangs, their makeup and relationships, focusing on the relatively small number of people who commit the most violent crimes. Later, gang members are called into a room with family members, community leaders, social service workers, police and prosecutors and told that if any of them are linked to a shooter, law enforcement will come down on the entire group.
Because many gang members are on parole or probation, this warning is designed to let them know they will be targeted -- and could go to prison -- even if another person does the shooting.
As an alternative, they are offered programs and services -- drug treatment, employment preparation and readiness, housing, education and life skills.
Residents, community activists, law enforcement agencies and social service providers will be involved in the effort in Hartford.
Connecticut is first to launch Project Longevity on a statewide basis, officials have said. The program is also planned for Bridgeport, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has stressed that it should reach other municipalities, like Stamford, Norwalk, Danbury, New Britain and New London.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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