NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven leaders say they are working to prevent violent crime in the city.

The Elm City has seen seven deadly shootings in five weeks, keeping police busy in 2023.

“Yes, we had a spike in violence, but we know what to do, and we’re moving forward,” New Haven Police Chief Karl Jacobson said.

Jacobson said that while these cases are coming, officers have arrested suspects in other cases.

In December, two suspects shooting at each other hit a school bus transporting children. No one was injured. Police arrested one juvenile and said the other suspect would be in custody soon.

“Hit a school bus in broad daylight,” Jacobson said. “These are brazen and dangerous acts. My message is don’t commit them because we are coming after you.”

The police chief said a possible motive for some of the homicides is drug dealing.

Two days ago, investigators and the DEA went to violent areas, where they attempted to arrest 33-year-old Derek Brock.

“He attempted to flee in a vehicle, causing him to crash into a DEA vehicle,” Jacobson said.

The agents are doing OK now. Authorities arrested Brock, and investigators found him with 148 grams of fentanyl.

“We’re going to shut down the violence, and we’ve already started doing that,” the police chief said. “Our detectives and officers are working extremely hard to get the violence under control but also protect the citizens of New Haven.”

Youth Connect, a school-based intervention program that targets at-risk students, hopes to steer teens to a better path before they become involved in crime. The program has 100 students sorted into three categories, from poor school behavior, to attendance, to gang affiliation and court involvement.

Ronald Huggins, the program’s manager, said it’s important for youth to know there is support.

“There’s a small amount of people engaged in a large amount of the activity going on, so if we can get to that nucleus and people who have influence, we could potentially change that behavior overall,” he said.

Melanie Mesa, who attends Hill House High School, got her first job and connected with a mentor through the program. Her sister had the same counselor, and said they’ve had help staying on track.

Mesa has seen the importance of the program first-hand.

“Advocate kids off the streets and stuff, and help them get a job, and stay focused, and earn money the right way,” she said.