Although murders and auto thefts in Hartford have increased since this time last year, the silver lining in the capital city’s crime statistics is that other serious offenses, including rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and larceny are significantly lower to date than in the last four years.
“Robbery down 41% for the year, aggravated assault down 38% for the year, burglary down 27% for the year — those are all great numbers, they’re just overshadowed by the homicides and the violent crime that we continue to attempt to get our arms around,” Chief Jason Thody said in a monthly police meeting Thursday night, referring to the city being on track for one of its deadliest years in decades with 27 homicides already.
So far, Hartford has seen a 68% increase in murders from 2020, where Hartford recorded 16 by the second week of September, but in regards to nonfatal shootings, the city is on track with lower numbers than in 2020, down by 16.2%.
“For shooting incidents, 129 this year, compared to 154 last year,” Thody said. “So that is hopefully an indicator that the efforts that the men and women ... [and] the efforts that they’re undertaking are having an impact, and we hope that they continue to trend in that direction.”
Of the 27 murders in Hartford this year, over half (14) have been “cleared by arrest or by warrant,” Lt. Aaron Boisvert added.
“Of the 129 victims of gunfire this year, 36 associated arrests so far and four active warrants for those shootings are in a judicial review process,” Boisvert said.
On average, Hartford is seeing a 20.3% improvement in total crime at this time of year compared to in years prior.
The capital city has since had fewer rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries and larcenies in 2021 than in the last four years including some significant differences including: a 38% decrease in aggravated assaults from 2020, 34.7% decrease in robberies compared to in 2019, 43.9% decrease in rape compared to in 2018 and 60.8% decrease in burglaries compared to in 2017.
Car thefts are even down from 2018 by 30.4% and 2017 by 31.6%.
Thody credited some of the improvement to specialized units in the department, including the Fugitive Task Force, Special Operations Group, Traffic Division and Special Investigation Division.
“This is a good example of one of those specialized units within those departments,” Thody said, referring to the arrests Boisvert and the Major Crimes Division team have been tackling.
“The tireless work, the late night hours, the call backs, they do remarkable, remarkable work,” Thody said. “Lieutenant just said we’ve got 36 arrests for nonfatal shootings and four warrants in the pipeline. I think last year we had 14 total nonfatal shooting arrests. That’s an incredible increase and it’s a testament to the data detectives, the sergeants, the lieutenant, the captain and everybody that pitches in.”
Jessika Harkay can be reached at email@example.com.