Project Longevity is a Connecticut state initiative supported by the Office of the US Attorney. The project recruits law enforcement, community leaders, and social workers to engage in a sustained relationship with group members to reduce group-related violence.
Project Longevity Hartford is part of a Connecticut state initiative supported by the Office of the United States Attorney. Under National Network advising in partnership with Yale University and the University of New Haven, Project Longevity combines community engagement, social services, and focused law enforcement to positively influence group dynamics and reduce violence. Project Longevity conducts call-ins to deliver community and law enforcement antiviolence messages to group members along with an offer of help. The city launched its effort in spring 2014.
"The violent crime rate in Connecticut fell nearly 23% from 2012 to 2015, representing the sharpest decline of any U.S. state, according to the state’s own analysis of federal data."
"The States Attorney’s Office received the Criminal Justice Award for its work with Project Longevity, which works to reduce gun violence, offers re-entry services to those coming out of incarceration and administers anti-bias training to police officers."
A Hartford community group is working to reduce gun violence in its neighborhoods.
Patrick Raycraft / The Hartford Courant
Project Longevity in Connecticut is proving to be a model for implementation of GVI, with cities around the country taking note. "Violence in New Haven, a city of 130,000 people, soon declined sharply. In 2011, it had 34 homicides. Last year, it had 15, a decrease of 56 percent. In 2011, New Haven police responded to 426 complaints of shots fired. Last year, officers handled 90, a drop of 79 percent."
"New Haven’s Project Longevity program has received national attention in recent years, including a mention by President Barack Obama in a speech last year on criminal justice. Now, the anti-gang violence program is on track to enhance its capabilities after a favorable vote from the Board of Alders’ Public Safety Committee Thursday night."
"FBI Director James Comey had nothing but praise for Project Longevity in New Haven when he spoke Monday at the Building Bridges Conference. 'I think Project Longevity shows what can happen when law enforcement and the community come together,' Comey said. 'I believe New Haven is a place where some very creative things and work are being done.'"
"Before 2011 ended, the return of the Wild West to a city that had boasted of taming its streets brought a new police chief to town, a new commitment to community policing—and, eventually a new approach to addressing gang violence in cooperation with state and federal law-enforcement agencies."
During a visit to Bridgeport, Gov. Dan Malloy said that programs like Project Longevity is part of a coordinated effort to keep the state's young people safer. Bridgeport's chapter of Project Longevity has reached out to 79 potential offenders between the ages of 17 and 34 — some of them with records of violent crimes — inviting them to group meetings with police officers and other members of the community to talk about the consequences of violent activity and offering to help them find jobs.
Project Longevity, a program targeting violent criminals that was launched in the capital city last fall, held its first call-in meeting in Hartford, putting law enforcement officials, social-service providers and community members face-to-face with members of Hartford's street gangs and drug crews.
Murders in Connecticut last year dropped below 100 for the first time in a decade, according to a memo from the governor's office that credits statewide initiatives aimed at combating violence. Statewide criminal arrests hit a ten-year-low as population increased, and non-fatal shootings in the state's three largest cities dropped consecutively over the past three years.