New officers hit the streets of New Haven - CBS 5 - KPHO

New officers hit the streets of New Haven

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There will be 40 new officers hitting the streets of New Haven after a ceremony Monday afternoon.

The new officers were all part of an ongoing effort by the mayor and police chief to increase neighborhood walking beats.

Since 2012, there have been 80 new officers added to the New Haven Police Department. By the end of 2013, the department is expected to add another 27 officers in total.

In 2012, the number of homicides did drop compared to the year before but some of the other violent crimes have seen an uptick.

"My marching orders were clear. Bring violence down in this city and bring community policing back to the neighborhoods," said New Haven Police Chief Dean M. Esserman. "What you see behind you is the promise this city has kept to this community."

The department currently has 422 officers after Monday's ceremony. At a time with budget constraints,  the city has been fully supportive in expanding the force each year.

As of Monday, there had been two homicides in the city this year and in 2012, there were 17 murders.

The number of murders was down significantly compared to 34 murders the year before.

However, the number of aggravated assaults and robberies did see about a 7 to 10 percent increase.

City officials told Eyewitness News that they believe the best way to curb crime is to get more involved in the community and have been touting walking beats.

The new officers were expected to start their walking beats as early as next week.

Another recruitment drive is expected to be held in May or June where the department wants to bring on another 40 recruits.

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