NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The City of New Haven and CT Against Gun Violence (CAGV) are teaming up to address an increase in gun violence, Mayor Justin Elicker announced Friday.
The city’s Office of Violence Prevention is part of the newly-formed Department of Community Resilience. CAVG will look at cities like Oakland and Chicago to create a blueprint New Haven can follow to prevent shootings and homicides in the city.
Thomas Daniels started the support group called Fathers Cry Too after his son, Thomas Daniels Jr., was shot and killed in a botched robbery in the Hill neighborhood 12 years ago.
“This is the pandemic before the pandemic,” Daniels said. “Our community has been in a state of emergency for some years now.”
To integrate the city’s existing anti-violence programs and come up with a blueprint for the new office, New Haven is partnering with CAGV.
“We’re going to look at identifying where the gun violence is, and where the resources are, and we’ll do an overlay to see whether those match up,” CAGV Executive Director Jeremy Stein said.
“It’s wonderful to work for a city that understands the police department is not the end all be all for gun violence,” New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez said. “There is more that can be done, and we can do it in a different way.”
With homicides and shootings skyrocketing on city streets, the goal line might seem impossible to reach, but community activists are confident they’re making a run in the right direction.
“You don’t throw the football to where the receiver is, you throw it to where he’s going to be,” Executive Director of the Connecticut Violence Intervention Program Leonard Jahad said.
Daniels has forgiven his son’s killer. He’s dedicated his life to helping other fathers who have lost their sons and daughters.
“This is no longer a black-on-black crime,” Daniels said. This is gun violence, and it’s knocking on everybody’s door.”
CAGV will have a report for the city within the next several months.