Police in New Haven, Connecticut, are taking a new approach to ending gang-related gun violence in their city.
Recognized gang members were called into a room in the basement of City Hall, where they met not only police but also clergy, social service providers and a mother of a murder victim. Authorities who conducted months of research showed them organization charts documenting their gang affiliation.
"You're told that you're going to be given a lot of love and respect in this room, and this community cherishes you, but with one voice we say no more violence," said New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman. "The first who go to a gun, who shoot somebody or kill somebody is going to have the full attention of city, state and federal law enforcement on the entire gang."
New Haven had 17 homicides last year, half the total from the year before. Seven people have been killed this year as of last week's reported stats. There were 92 non-fatal shootings last year, down from 133 the year before. As of last week, there have been 23 non-fatal shootings this year
The program, called Project Longevity, has been hailed as successful in reducing violence in other cities such as Chicago and Cincinnati. Officials are also implementing the program in Bridgeport and Hartford.