On Nov. 12, close to 100 professionals working in the areas of law enforcement, public policy, education, health care, business, social service and faith came together to discuss violence prevention at “Hartford Together: Joining Hands for a Safer City,” a panel discussion hosted by Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Saint Francis and Hartford Hospitals, with the help of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford. The event took place at the Saint Francis Innovation and Education Center. The meeting addressed the issue of how to confront Greater Hartford’s ongoing problem with youth and gun violence by instituting a cooperative arrangement between a range of professionals who work with youth — from social workers and law enforcement to faith-based representatives. A similar program put into play in Boston resulted in an impressive decline in violence in that city. The panel discussed whether establishing such a coordinated, interdisciplinary infrastructure might work in Hartford. “We invited a panel of Boston experts on youth gun violence. Their coming to Hartford enabled us to invite important local stakeholders to a meeting that would facilitate collaboration and development of a Hartford blueprint to control violence,” said event chair Dr. Bob Blitzer, who is also Social Justice Committee chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council. “As a change-maker, thought leader and advocate, the Jewish Federation felt it was important to address this critical issue which affects our whole community so deeply. This initiative is aligned with our mission, which dictates that we are profoundly committed to making the world a better place, or fulfilling the Jewish value of tikkun olam,” said Federation CEO Howard Sovronsky.
CAP: Dr. Bob Blitzer speaks with Sergeant Stephen Austin of the Hartford Police Department.