NEW HAVEN, Conn (WTNH) – New Haven Police have taken 100 firearms off the street since the start of 2021, racing to get ahead of a spike in crime that has not been seen in almost a decade.
The most recent arrest was announced Wednesday. 18-year-old Jaime Ramos was arrested for the alleged non-fatal shooting of a man on Valley Street Monday.
New Haven Alder Honda Smith mentored Ramos. She saw him hours before police allege he opened fire.
“I thought I was getting somewhere with him because on Monday he had a lot of aspirations on his face that he really wanted to change,” Smith said. “But he needed a lot more.”
Smith says she has worked closely with officers in her neighborhood to get witnesses to come forward.
“I just want to say kudos [to those] that did come forward to let them know what happened because one of the things they want is to do is get the shooting to cease,” Ramos said.
She says Ramos’ arrest helps him, too. Smith hopes he can get the help she believes he needs to turn his life around now that he’s in custody.
The city says everyone, from street cops to forensics and detectives, is working 24/7 to address the spike in crime. Arrests like Ramos’ are a boost to morale and help them keep going.
“The police department is under an incredible amount of pressure,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker. “Officers are often held over. They’re doing a lot of overtime. Our team is working hard to respond to this challenge.”
“It’s the patrol division, it’s the detective bureau, it’s the shooting task force. It’s all the units who are working collectively to reduce the gun violence and make the city safer,” Acting New Haven Police Chief Renee Dominguez said.