NEW HAVEN, CT (WTNH) – A spike in violent crime in the Elm City paints a grim picture for some neighborhoods in New Haven. The new New Haven mayor is ready to take on the challenge in his upcoming term.
Mayor-elect Justin Elicker tells News 8 he’s spoken to the NH chief of police and is concerned about the spike illustrated in recent statistics from the NHPD.
According to the numbers, violent crimes in areas like Newhallville and The Hill have increased since 2018.
Overall, NHPD reported 531 violent crimes in the city from July to December this year, up from 359 last year.
The number of shootings in the Elm City are also up from 2018. The department reported 73 shootings in New Haven this year, up from 48 in 2018.
Elicker says a depleting police force may have been a contributing factor to the uptick.
“We have a depleted police force. There is not as many police officers because there was some issues around finalizing the contract.
Now that the contract is finalized, the chief and, (in the future), my administration, will be focusing on rebuilding the department so we have officers covering the city more comprehensively.”– Mayor-elect Justin Elicker
Other community leaders are troubled by the new crime stats in the city, too.
“My hope going forward is that we can really re-define community policing. We can see what we can do to work with organizations, churches and community leaders to really cultivate a community that says ‘no more crime.'”– Pastor Kelcy Steele, Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, New Haven
Elicker tells News 8, “The foundation of our city needs to be about safety. And, while New Haven – by and large – is safe, there is a lot more that we can do to ensure that every spot in this city – every neighborhood – is safe.”
The department is taking steps to address this spike and he hopes to hit the ground running when he takes office in January to ensure lower numbers in violent crime across the Elm City moving forward.