New Haven police, mayor address recent spike in violent crime, say community involvement is factor in lowering numbers

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Police say they have gotten a handle on the recent spike in violent crime the Elm City saw at the start of the month.

They say they’ve done that by seizing weapons, putting more patrol officers on the ground, and making more arrests, including in the July 10th homicide inside a package store in The Hill neighborhood of the city.

“I’d like to thank the New Haven Detective Bureau and police department for giving me a little closure in finding the young man that killed my son,” said Patricia Newton Monday.

RELATED: Arrest made in Maryland in connection to New Haven homicide

Newton’s 36-year-old son, Ricky Newton, was shot to death inside the Rosette Street store. A memorial now sits at the site. Detectives viewed surveillance video and worked with community members to identify 44-year-old Rashad Hardy as the alleged gunman. Hardy was taken into custody in Maryland on Friday.

“We know it helps them move past a point where they can begin to bear the pain of losing their loved one,” said Police Chief Otoniel Reyes Monday.

“This is not an easy time to be a police officer and this is a reminder of just how important the work is that you do,” added Mayor Justin Elicker.

At an afternoon press conference Monday, city leaders and police brass addressed a violent two weeks at the start of the month, including two murders and 13 shootings. They say they are making progress and bringing the crime rate down.

RELATED: New Haven city leaders, police address spike in violence: list of deadly shootings over the course of only a few days in July

In the last week and a half, the number of shootings has dropped sharply, and no homicides have been reported.

“That’s done with a lot of work and a lot of people,” said Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson, who also credited members of the community for stepping forward, holding demonstrations against the violence, and assisting police with tips.

“We’ve made key arrests, seized a lot of guns in relation to that and we will continue those efforts working with our partners to make sure we continue to bring that crime down, in a downward trend,” said Reyes.

Meantime, homicide victim Ricky Newton has three surviving children. His daughter graduated from high school this summer. She’ll be heading to UNH in the fall– without her dad by her side.

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