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Hartford Deputy Police Chief Says More Officers May Not Be The Answer

There have been five murders in the past two weeks in Hartford, Connecticut. Hartford’s deputy police chief, Brian Foley, said Thursday that the department has historically responded to an uptick in crime by flooding the neighborhood where the crime happened with more police.  He also said that may not be the best long term solution.

Foley said reassigning officers to a neighborhood after a murder can lead to more people in that neighborhood getting arrested for low-level crimes, and that can lead to members of the neighborhood having a negative view of police.

"A child seeing his father getting arrested. A child seeing his mother get arrested. These are negative things that we look to avoid. Teenagers and youths getting arrested and just negative contacts." said Foley, "That’s what we need to consider before any radical influxes of officers into a neighborhood."

Foley won’t rule out the possibility of adding police officers to the neighborhood, but he said the department has had more success from community outreach and by targeting gang violence, and that the department should stay focused on those strategies.

Hartford was recently recognized by the White House for being one of ten cities that has made progress in community policing. Police departments that use community policing are trying to connect their officers more closely to the neighborhoods they serve.

Kathie is a former editor at WSHU.