Project Longevity

The "call-in" approach aims to reduce gun violence in Connecticut.

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Iran Nazario, Peacebuilders Program Director in Hartford.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Mike Lawlor, Connecticut Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Project Longevity
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Project Longevity

Alicia Caraballo’s story is far too common in Connecticut cities: “I have a 24 year old son. Only child. Did everything the right way. Went to school. Became a social worker. Became a school administrator. Little did I know I would be called to the hospital because my son was murdered.”

She’s now Adult Education Director for the New Haven Board of Education - and one of many officials and activists throwing their support behind a new attempt at curbing gun crime: Project Longevity.

It’s being called a “permanent feature” of law enforcement in New Haven -  based on the concept that gun violence is caused mainly by a small number of street gangs. It replaces busts, stings and sweeps of suspected gang members with “call-ins” where police talk directly to gang leaders to try and stop the violence.

As Attorney General Eric Holder explained during a visit to New Haven, the message is that after these “sit downs,” continued violence will bring the wrath of law enforcement.

Holder said, “Such acts will not be tolerated - they will be swiftly met, with clear, predictable consequences. But also help is available for all those who wish to break the cycle of violence and gang activity.”

Project Longevity is being piloted in New Haven, with plans to expand to Hartford and Bridgeport.