Saturday, February 24, 2018

Hartford Police: homicide rates hit year-to-date highs

WILL VERDUER ’18

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Trinity students, and especially their parents, often express fear about crime in Hartford. But exactly how reasonable are these fears?

Hatford has developed a reputation as a dangerous city in the last decade. This reputation owes to a variety of factors, chiefly the decline of a large number of manufacturing jobs after the closure of arms producing plants run by Colt and Remington. The dearth of jobs prompted the departure of many middle-class families and unemployment in Hartford rose correspondingly.

An interview with a Hartford police officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, revealed that very few of the crimes reported in Hartford are violent, and very small percentage of them make the news.

The majority of time, he said, police are called in because of noise complaints due to the citywide popularity of ATVs (All-Terrain Vehi-cles). Police also spend a good amount of time responding to motor-vehicle accidents. There are around 500 police officers in Hartford, and according to the anonymous officer, there is no typical day for a Hartford Police officer.  The officer asserted that instances of violet crime are very rare, and most times the constant assignments coming from dispatchers are typically just for small crimes.

Despite this assertion that violent crime is relatively rare in Hartford, the rate of homicide has hit a four-year high. The city is one of the most dangerous in New England and reported murder year-to-date statistics for 2014 recorded ten murders as compared to 26 so far in 2015 according to the City of Hartford’s website. In addition, cases of auto theft have risen 14.8 percent from last year to 636 cases reported as of Sept. 19.

As far as Trinity students are concerned, the campus is safe. Frog Hollow and Behind the Rocks may be two economically depressed area, but are not a real source of Hartford’s violent crime. However, there are occasional instances of the city’s crime and climate impacting campus (the recent incidents of young women being harassed by residents provides an unfortunate example of the risks of Trinity’s location in an urban area), but by and large there are not serious issues with Hartford’s crime on Trinity’s campus.

The Hartford Police force’s commitment to the Trinity College campus is showcased by their station on the corner of Broad St. and New Britian Ave. Weekly collaboration between campus safetey and the force, and the police are always ready to dispatch at a moments notice.

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