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Connecticut holds its first community gun violence prevention meeting


Connecticut convened the first meeting of its Commission on Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention on Wednesday.

The commission will advise the state Department of Public Health on a new gun violence intervention and prevention program. It is part of the Lamont administration's efforts to improve public safety.

“Gun violence has been an endemic in some of our communities for too long,” Governor Ned Lamont said in a press release. “Addressing this type of violence requires continual adaptation, diverse partnerships and rigorous evaluation. That is why Connecticut is launching this anti-violence program and increasing its investment in proven practices to prevent and reduce community gun violence.”

“While recent statistics show that Connecticut continues to be among the safest states in the country, one incident of violence is one too many," Lamont continued. "This program will save lives by bringing together law enforcement, hospitals and communities to address the causes and effects of gun violence.”

The commission will provide recommendations on how to reduce gun violence and keep illegal guns off the street. Commission appointees include community organizers, public health officials and policy experts.

Janet Rice, an advocate for violent crime survivors who lost her only child to gun violence, is one of the two commission members appointed by Lamont.

“I’m here on behalf of all survivors of gun violence," she said. "I’m happy to be here and hope that together we can do something to combat the gun violence in our state of Connecticut.”

The program has been allocated almost $3 million from the state, money that will be distributed as grants to community-based violence intervention programs.

Molly is a reporter covering Fairfield County. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.