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Hartford Police Earn White House Praise For Community Policing

Hartford, Connecticut is one of ten cities being praised by the White House this week for their progress in community policing.

Police departments that use community policing are trying to connect their officers more closely to the neighborhoods they serve. The White House said on Monday that Hartford is doing that, through a program that gives local high school students paid internships and mentors in the city police department.

Maribel Laluz is the spokesperson for Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. She says that the program is promoting public trust.

"By trying to get as much non-enforcement moments between young people and police, having a workforce that’s, you know, that reflects the community it serves," she said.

Laluz says she hopes the program will prepare local students for jobs in the police force and improve the racial diversity of the department. According to an analysis by the Connecticut Mirror, two thirds of Hartford’s police are white, while the majority of the city’s population is Black or Latino.

Laluz says that’s because many police officers in Hartford are not Hartford residents.

Kathie is a former editor at WSHU.