We all want to live in a community that is safe and vibrant, but for too many residents of the Hartford region, crime and violence are a part of life.

In episode 2 of the Disinvested podcast, we explore the effects of violence and trauma, and ask what we can do to create safer communities.

Hear from people working on the front lines of this issue, as well as those who have been personally affected by violence.

Listen to “Community Safety”:

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Visit disinvested.com for more information.


Brian Foley, former Hartford police officer: I took some time deliberately over my career to walk inside that yellow tape, turn around and look back. What do I see on the other side of the yellow tape? You see families, you see kids playing like nothing’s going on. You cannot tell me that does not have an effect on a child whose brain is developing. If that happened in my neighborhood… if it happened once, I’d be impacted by it for the rest of my life.

Brandon McGee, state representative: We’re saying in the State of Connecticut that we are the state that’s leading the charge with respect to the formerly incarcerated. We are the second chance state. If you go out into the streets and you speak directly with our neighbors and friends who have experienced the criminal justice system, they’ll tell you firsthand, “I never had a chance.”

Tyrek Marquez, Hartford resident: I was 11. I just wanted to be with my friends playing. I’d rather not go to an event at 4 o’clock in the evening and be around a bunch of adults talking about me getting shot. As I kept doing it, I started to like it because I realized that it’s possible that I could make a major impact.

Warren Hardy, Helping Young People Evolve (HYPE): It affected my psyche to the point where I kind of took it on as a normal thing… I continued to see other acts of violence. Whether it was gunshots, somebody being beat up, or stabbed, the one thing that was common was that it was never addressed. It was like, okay, this is life. Website / Facebook page

David Owens, Hartford Courant: There’s just been a steady run of gun violence. It’s staggering the toll it takes and it’s frustrating. I don’t know that there has been a worsening of the situation, it’s just been this steady, sad story of gunfire and gun crime in Hartford that just keeps claiming young lives.

Deborah Davis, Mothers United Against Violence: That was my goal… to try to help others because I knew that the resources were not there. I knew that it was hard to access, and individuals did not care about me and about my son the way I cared about my son. Website / Facebook page

Here’s a FULL TRANSCRIPT of Episode 2