BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- U.S. Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), state Sen. Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport), Mayor Joe Ganim and Police Chief AJ Perez were all on hand to hear residents' questions and suggestions for combatting gun violence at a discussion held June 3 at the Trumbull Gardens Community Center in Bridgeport.
As summer approaches, residents gathered at the center said that a greater police partnership and presence, more options for youth and a focus on drug prevention would go a long way stemming gang activity and other crime across the city.
LeTira Nesmith, a Bridgeport probation officer, spent countless hours working with children at the Trumbull Gardens Citywide Youth Center, a 17-year-old safe haven for kids in a North End complex often rocked by gun violence.
On any given day, staff and volunteers provided sports, games and other activities for 60 to 80 children, she said.
“No, we didn’t save every child, but we saved some of them. This building needs to be open,” she said to cheers from about 80 residents gathered at the now-shuttered center Tuesday for a forum on gun violence.
"This is an epidemic. Right? This is an epidemic. And it's wild to me that we would celebrate the fact that only a handful of people have been killed by guns in the city this year. Right? That's a tragedy. And what happened this weekend in Chicago barely made the news. Do you know how many people got shot in Chicago Memorial Day weekend? Sixty-nine people. It barely made the news. It's like rain drops, like background noise," said Murphy in his introduction.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.