Acting chief: Bridgeport homicide investigations progressing ‘very rapidly’
BRIDGEPORT — Detectives are making progress in the recent homicide investigations as the city continues to see a wave of gun violence, the acting police chief said on Wednesday.
Mayor Joe Ganim and Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia addressed the gun violence across the city on WICC-AM radio Wednesday morning.
Addressing the bump in gun violence “is a top priority,” Ganim said. “Certainly for the chief, for the department and for me as mayor.”
He said the city was “shifting resources” to handle the escalating violence.
Garcia, starting off by offering condolences to the families of the victims, reiterated the importance of solving the crimes.
She said the most recent homicide investigations are “progressing very rapidly,” adding that the “solvability factor” for the recent killings are at a “good rate at this time.”
Garcia stressed the importance of the community helping police close the cases — and potentially prevent others.
“We need the community to be able to bring information to the police department so that we can solve these even quicker,” she said. “We might even be able to avoid or prevent this type of violence — be it a homicide or someone being shot — if someone picks up the phone and says ‘hey this person has a gun.’”
She said the department has various details, task forces and units devoted to getting guns off the streets and helping prevent future shootings.
“We need people to step up,” Ganim said. “We all need to step up and take some ownership.”
Garcia said law enforcement is focusing on a “smaller group of people” who are allegedly tied to many of the shootings.
Police and other law enforcement officials have previously said the gun violence is tied to “group violence” or gangs within the city.
“We just want to send the message: Not here. Not here,” Garcia said. “We are not OK with this.”
In a follow-up email to the media later Wednesday, the city said police have started a strategic enforcement detail to crack down on things like illegal guns. The city said police task forces are also using surveillance and other details to serve warrants and make arrests.
In September, the city said, police arrested more than 12 violent offenders and seized 21 guns.
“Residents may notice patrols increased during the evening and overnight hours in areas of the city that promulgate criminal activity,” the city said. “Partnering agencies like Project Longevity are reaching out to returning citizens, and the Council of Churches has contacted the Bridgeport Police Department to facilitate a gun buy-back program at a date to be announced.”
Anyone with information on any of the city’s recent shootings is asked to call the Bridgeport police tips line at 203-576-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous.