Segarra Reflects On First Year In Office, Announces Partnership With State Police
By Jenna Carlesso
June 24, 2011
The city has made significant accomplishments with limited resources over the last year, but will work harder on problems like crime and unemployment, Mayor Pedro Segarra said Friday.
To that end, Segarra announced a partnership between the city and "federal, state and local resources" designed to curb gun violence in Hartford. There have been 17 homicides in the city so far this year, compared with 11 at this time last year, according to Hartford Police Department statistics.
Segarra said the city needs to "develop a format to better work with state" authorities in combating crime. He noted the challenges posed when criminals arrested on gun violence are later released on bail.
"We are not the ones supervising these folks," he said. "It's an incredible challenge to deal with all the components of crime control."
Lt. J. Paul Vance, a state police spokesman, said state police troopers will participate in a task force this summer with Hartford police officers and representatives from the state's attorney's office. The task force, which is still in the planning stages, will assist in investigating shootings in Hartford, Vance said.
"We're not going to come in and take over everything," Vance said Friday. "The task force will assist in police operations, specifically major shooting incidents."
Vance declined to discuss how many state troopers or representatives from the state attorney's office would be involved in the task force. The mayor did not elaborate on the partnership, saying more details would be revealed at a press conference next week.
Reflecting on his first year in office at city hall Friday, Segarra noted his accomplishments in lowering the city's tax rate, resolving budget deficits and diverting more resources toward youth services.
"We have accomplished a lot in the last year in terms of our economic situation," he said.
But the mayor said there is "still a lot to do" in the areas of crime and unemployment. Hartford's unemployment rate hovers at about 16 percent, he said.
Segarra said the city would continue to develop new partnerships and strengthen its existing ones with the community, nonprofits groups, educational institutions and state and federal authorities.
As mayor, Segarra said, "the expectation is you have to resolve all these problems on your own. The buck stops here."
"Still, we are limited as mayors," he continued. "We must remember this is our city and it is only in working together that will move this city forward."
He encouraged residents to participate in improvement efforts.
"To the extent people in the community pointed out problems," Segarra said, "I invite them to get involved in the solutions."