2018 Champion City

Hartford, CT : 2018 Champion City

Using Gunshot Detection Technology to Support Traumatized Youth

  • 123,243

  • Luke A. Bronin

  • Directly Elected Mayor

    Type of Government
  • 4 years

    Length of Term
  • Health

    Issue Area

The Problem

Children who witness gun violence experience dangerous levels of traumatic stress, yet more than 76 percent who would benefit from treatment are never referred for diagnosis.

The Idea

The City of Hartford will use gunshot detection technology in conjunction with student address data to identify youth who have been exposed to gun violence, and deliver trauma services.

What Luke A. Bronin, Mayor of Hartford, CT is saying:

In too many communities around the country, young people exposed to the trauma of gun violence never get the support, treatment, or even the acknowledgement they need. Our proposal is designed to help provide timely support and assistance to kids exposed to gun violence in our own community.


Our Prototyping Journey

    Let's Go

  • Hartford will determine how to best connect students exposed to gunshot trauma with mental health services by testing different ways to deliver alerts (e.g. SMS, email, in-person visit) to teachers and parents of affected youth to follow-up and refer for treatment.

    Today, we hosted a group of youth service provers to learn about the #Hartford @BloombergDotOrg #MayorsChallenge proposal and WOW was the feedback good. Plus, when polled (before we kicked off the meeting) 100% said they would benefit from our proposal! #CitiesLead

    1:49 PM - 27 Apr 2018   RPierceCity  
  • Ideas into action

  • What we're discovering through testing

    Hartford’s idea initially relied on schools being vital in providing children’s addresses and delivering trauma treatment. However, despite wanting to help, schools don’t have the capacity to take on the program. The team have shifted their focus to target parents and community organizers for their testing. What seemed like a setback at first, has now been validated by further testing that showed community groups are trusted in the community and better suited to provide trauma support.

    Want feedback on an app without coding? Bring rough, interactive prototypes to your users and ask what they want your system to do. You'll be amazed! Here, we asked youth groups what they want from a gun violence trauma alert system. #Hartford @BloombergDotOrg #MayorsChallenge

    11:17 AM - 29 Jun 2018   RPierceCity  

    In June, Hartford ran a community hackathon - CitiCare, bringing together diverse groups from across the city to prototype possible solutions, and activate meaningful relationships to help drive their ideas forward.


    On June 22nd 7 teams set out to tackle the challenge of Gun Violence Trauma in Hartford.

    The biggest resource we have is not money, it's the parents.

    Hartford Parent

    Congrats to CHaTT (also the fan favorite!), Dandelion and hartCRM, the three winning ideas from the #HartfordCitiCare #MayorsChallenge Hackathon at @upwardhartford! So proud of all participants, mentors and judges. Together, we can create solutions to gun violence trauma!

    5:36 PM - 24 Jun 2018   RPierceCity  
  • Reflections

  • What we've learned

    Throughout this process, the Hartford team received overwhelming support and buy-in from citizens, city departments, local organizations, and more. These stakeholders recognize the need for trauma-informed services, and equate the project with trauma resilience, which they are eager to get behind. The testing process has enabled the team to generate early buy-in by working closely with partners and making them co-creators of the solution.

    Citizens are subliminally aware that this a problem. When the city asks them about it, there’s a sense of pride and gratitude that the city cares.

    Joan Barere, Director, Central Grants Administration, City of Hartford

    Incredible! One unintended positive outcome from our community hackathon: What stared as a way to co-create prototypes for the #Hartford @BloombergDotOrg #MayorsChallenge ALSO connected two great orgs. Now, @CampCourant kids are learning robotics in an entrepreneurship center!

    7:27 PM - 31 Jul 2018   RPierceCity