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Connecticut commission identifies types of gun violence it'll tackle with new state funding

220831_Gun_Violence_DW
Dave Wurtzel
/
Connecticut Public
Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani speaks at the first meeting of the Commission on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention.

Wednesday marked the inaugural meeting of the Commission on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention, a newly appointed group charged with advising the state on how best to use $2.5 million in state funding for anti-violence efforts.

“What we are now having the ability to do … is be able to work with partners to actually do more to actually prevent and change the trajectory of where violence occurs in our community,” said the state’s Public Health commissioner Manisha Juthani.

One area the commission will focus on is intimate partner violence. The Department of Public Health reports that 54% of the women killed in Connecticut since 2015 were victims of intimate partner violence.

“[W]omen … are in many ways disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence and the strategies that you would use to combat that might be very different than other areas,” Juthani said.

The commission is also focused on reducing gun violence in big cities. New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson, a member of the commission, said police can’t do this alone.

220831_Gun_Violence_DW
Dave Wurtzel
/
Connecticut Public
New Haven Police Chief, Karl Jacobson listens to advocates during the first meeting of the Commission on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention.

“Just yesterday, I had a double shooting in my city where a young man died who was 26 years old, and I had to tell his mother,” Jacobson said at Wednesday’s meeting. “And I knew her and I knew him very well. We just need to do something. I appreciate this commission, and I hope I can help.”

Health officials say that Connecticut saw a rise in homicides during the pandemic – 36% between 2019 and 2021.

The commission was established by legislation passed during the 2022 Connecticut General Assembly session. It is being administered by the Department of Public Health’s Office of Injury and Violence Prevention, which was allocated $2.9 million in the recent budget adjustment – $400,000 of the funding was devoted to setting up the commission.

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