HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – In the last year, a new team of detectives were released on the streets for non-fatal shootings in Hartford, in the hopes of preventing more homicides and saving lives.

“In 2020, we had a very high amount of non-fatal shootings, we had 211 citywide. We started the shooting response team in April of last year, so they have been at it for just over a year now,” said Hartford Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert.

They have been very successful. In the last year, non-fatal arrests are up nearly 170%.

“That’s important because it sends a powerful message that there are consequences. You cannot act in our city and commit this type of violence and expect to get away with it, and people are not getting away with it,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

The shooting team treats the non-fatal shootings just like homicides. They canvas the neighborhood, find surveillance video, collect the evidence and build up a relationship with a victim. Because the victim is alive, and a witness and a cooperative victim can turn the case.

“The reason for a lower rate is usually uncooperative victims, the victims are not cooperative at all, but we keep going back at them and we get some cooperation. We start making arrests,” Boisvert said.

They also have taken a record 159 guns off the street in less than five months. Police said it has been a department-wide effort to target illegal guns.

Many times when police seize an illegal gun, it can be tied to other crimes and other homicides, leading police to another shooter.

“Police have taken more illegal guns off the streets then any time on record. They have been solving homicides at a very high rate,” Bronin said.

The task force can also step in and help with homicides.