New Haven Police Department Chief Frank Limon announced Tuesday that his department had seized a record number of firearms so far this year.
The NHPD has seized nearly 92 firearms in the first three months of 2011, Limon said at an afternoon conference with Mayor John DeStefano Jr. in department headquarters on Union Ave, according to a press release. Limon had promised community residents at a series of public dialogues in March that seizing illegal guns was a top priority for the NHPD in response to earlier complaints. So far, the department has seized 12 more guns than it did in 2010.
This year there have been 46 non-fatal shootings and nine gun-related homicides so far this year. A high percentage of the guns used in these crimes are stolen, DeStefano said at the conference, according to the New Haven Independent.
DeStefano attributed the department’s recent string of successes to better cooperation with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives — a partnership that Limon has discussed since his first days as chief in April 2010.
New Haven has four officers assigned to an ATF task-force, and several others on a joint task-force with nearby towns such as Hamden.
Some of the guns that the department collected were traced back to nearby stores that had been burglarized.
One such store in Orange, CT Firearms & Tactical, was burglarized Apr. 22 and three handguns were stolen. The NHPD found that the man arrested in the April 23 shooting on High Street had one of the stolen weapons in his possession. The man, however, was not charged for that crime.
Although March and April both saw a significant rise in New Haven shootings, only 5 shooting incidents have been reported by the NHPD in May.