Community activists stepping up to keep the streets of New Haven safe, combat the uptick in violence

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Community activists are now stepping up to the plate to keep the streets of New Haven safe and combat the uptick in violence.

It has been a busy few days for New Haven police and for the community as local violence prevention workers do their part to curb the uptick in violence in the Elm City.

Tuesday morning marked the eleventh homicide of the city after a 44-year-old man was fatally shot near Orchard and George Streets near Yale New Haven Hospital Saint Raphael’s campus.

Police say the victim had prior offenses — something that Leonard Jahad of the Connecticut Violence Prevention Program in New Haven says often happens. This is why he and his team are working on the ground trying to avoid retaliation and connect young people and those re-entering the community with the right resources to address joblessness, poverty issues and drug-related traumas that have long plagued the Elm City.

“It is multi-prong, we can’t arrest our way out of this, we’ve never been able to do it and we have to be able to get ahead of this. The problem is with the quarantine from last year it kind of put us behind,” Leonard Jahad, Exec. Director, Connecticut Violence Prevention Program. “There’s only one thing worse than trauma and that’s untreated trauma and we are in a traumatized community.”

Another shooting Monday night on Cedar and Putnam Streets and one over the weekend claiming the life of a 20-year-old woman from Bridgeport.

For Jahad, the work isn’t just on police, but those in the community.

“We’re facing almost a double summer. So it’s not only a spike in violent crime as it gets warm, but also coming out to quarantine. So it’s a double summer,” Jahad says. “It is multi-prong, we can’t arrest our way out of this, we’ve never been able to do it and we have to be able to get ahead of this.”

With warmer months ahead, Jahad and his team are working to stay connected to the neighborhoods to avoid more community violence.

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