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MAYOR BRONIN HOLDS TOWN HALL ON PUBLIC SAFETY

(February 25, 2016) Today, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin hosted his second monthly town hall. Speaking with residents gathered at Hartford Public High School, the Mayor stressed the importance of hiring police officers to address the crisis in police staffing, using new technology to modernize the police force, and engaging the community more directly.  

“Our most fundamental responsibility is to help keep our streets and neighborhoods safe,” Mayor Bronin said. “That starts with addressing the crisis in police staffing, but we also need to take full advantage of new technology and build even stronger partnerships with residents and community leaders.”

The Hartford Police Department is currently more than 100 officers below the staffing level recommended by independent consultants. Earlier this month, the Mayor accelerated the hiring of a new Police Academy class, consisting of 14 recruits and a Cadet from HPD’s restructured Cadet Program for city residents. The HPD has established a Recruiting Unit to assist in improving the recruitment of city residents and increase the diversity of the police force.

On Wednesday, Hartford unveiled a new Real-Time Crime and Data Intelligence Center to improve city policing and prevent criminal activity in the Greater Hartford region by taking advantage of new technology. The new crime center will help law enforcement make smart, targeted, timely arrests to get the most violent individuals off the street.

The Mayor stressed the importance of engaging the community in new ways to solve problems and generate ideas to tackle violence. In particular, he discussed the City’s plan to open Compstat meetings to the public, including the leaders of the faith community. At Compstat meetings, police share data and information about trends in criminal activity throughout the city.

While laying out the three pillars of staffing, modernization and community engagement as keys to the law enforcement strategy, Mayor Bronin noted that law enforcement is only a part of the public safety equation. “As we continue to strengthen law enforcement efforts, we also need to recognize that public safety is about much more than law enforcement. That’s why we’re going to continue to focus on expanding youth employment, combatting blight, cleaning up our neighborhoods, and building partnerships to help residents with criminal records get a real second chance,” the Mayor said.

“The single most powerful tool for reducing crime in our city is to give Hartford’s young people opportunities for meaningful employment,” the Mayor added. “I am committed to establishing a Youth Service Corps. where members will have the chance to earn a paycheck while serving their community, whether it’s fixing up blighted properties or helping seniors with their homes.”

Mayor Bronin has committed to holding monthly town halls in different neighborhoods around Hartford.  He hosted a January town hall addressing his administration’s priorities and his first 30 days in office.

 

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MAYOR BRONIN UNVEILS REAL-TIME CRIME DATA & INTELLIGENCE CENTER

(February 24, 2016) Today, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin joined Chief of Police James Rovella, City Council President Thomas Clarke II, and Councilman James Sanchez for the unveiling of the Real-Time Crime and Data Intelligence Center, a new centralized intelligence-sharing hub to improve city policing and reduce and prevent criminal activity in the Greater Hartford region.  

“One of the keys to making our community safer is to take advantage of new technology that helps law enforcement make smart, targeted arrests that get violent individuals off the street. The Data & Intelligence Center helps give police officers and detectives the real-time, comprehensive information they need to target individuals and groups that pose the greatest threat to public safety.”

The Crime Center maintains data from surrounding municipalities, officers and detectives on the field, victims, witnesses, and complainants in a variety of environments – across city, state, and federal databases. Types of information shared includes outstanding warrants and geographic areas that have unique crime rates and trends.

City Council President Clarke, Co-Chair of the Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee, stated, “I am pleased to know the Hartford Police Department has a state-of-the-art crime facility that affords us the opportunity to aggressively tackle crime in our city and increase the quality of life for our residents.”

“Today is a new era for Hartford to have such an advanced crime system in place,” Councilman Sanchez, Co-Chair of the Quality of Life and Public Safety Committee. “With today’s advanced technology we are now able to keep up with the ever-growing issues of cyberspace, credit fraud and other high tech crimes. Let Hartford become the beacon for all our neighboring towns towards helping to improve the quality of life.” 

“By opening of the Crime Center, we have consolidated the department’s intelligence resources to help identify patterns and stop emerging crime,” Chief Rovella said. “At the same time, we are reducing the digital divide created by incompatible information systems between agencies, corporations, and stakeholders.”

The Crime Center is the cornerstone of an overall plan to introduce advanced technology to combat crime and equip the Hartford Police Department with the tools to meet the challenges of modern, community-based policing. 

The Crime Center communicates with many external organizations, including, but not limited to, the Connecticut Intelligence Center (CTIC), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NEHIDTA), the New Haven Division Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HIS), and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

The Crime Center uses software such as Mutualink, Milestone VMS, I2 Analyst Notebook, ShotSpotter, Google Earth, and Pictometry. These technologies assist Crime Center staff in providing real-time intelligence to assist officers in the field. 

 

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MAYOR BRONIN OUTLINES CITY’S FISCAL CRISIS (“Very Difficult, Very Painful Changes” Necessary to Address Structural Deficit in FY16 and Beyond)

(February 23, 2016) This evening, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin outlined the City of Hartford’s fiscal challenges at the Hartford Public Library during remarks kicking off the People’s Budget Workshops, which provides an opportunity for residents to participate in the Budget process.  
 
Mayor Bronin stated, “The City of Hartford has had a large structural budget gap for years, but it’s been hidden with one-time fixes like selling parking garages and raiding reserve funds, while taxes climbed higher. We can’t do that anymore. We have a responsibility to build Hartford’s future on a solid foundation, and there’s no way to do that without making some very difficult, very painful changes.” 
 
According to current projections, Hartford is facing a shortfall of approximately $9 million in the current year, despite approximately $12 million of unexpected revenue from a bond sale in 2015. The city faces a gap of approximately $32 million in the upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1. The gap is projected to grow to over $48 million in FY18 and over $63 million in FY19, absent significant changes to the City’s cost structure.  
 
“The decisions we make in this year’s budget will determine whether Hartford is once again a healthy, growing city, or whether we accept a future of decline. I refuse to accept decline, and that means we need to tackle our challenges head-on,” Mayor Bronin said.
 
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VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE FROM UNITED WAY

(February 23, 2016) Find out how to receive free tax preperation assistance by visiting https://unitedwayinc.org/freetaxrefunds

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