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Stamford Police Cracking Down On 'Community Guns'

Capt. Richard Conklin said the Stamford police department is continuing to crack down on 'community' guns and violence on the West End.
Capt. Richard Conklin said the Stamford police department is continuing to crack down on 'community' guns and violence on the West End. Photo Credit: Jay Polansky

STAMFORD, Conn. -- With residents living in fear of the drugs and violence that has been ripping apart the West Side, Stamford police say they will continue to crack down on gangs and criminals who use "community guns" to commit crimes.

Community guns are guns that are stashed in various places such as parks for easy access by any number of criminals without having to worry about being nabbed by police for carrying a gun, Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin explained.

The police department's latest bust came Wednesday night when officers from the Narcotics and Organized Crime squad seized two more guns from a home at 132 Richard Ave., after receiving a tip, said Conklin.

"Our guys are great at getting intel and following up on it," he said. "And, it's paying off. Now we have two more illegal guns off the streets."

Earlier this week, Stamford police arrested a high school basketball star at Hatch Field Park for carrying a loaded pistol which was a community gun, Conklin said.

The latest raid netted a loaded .38 caliber revolver and an unloaded .9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol, hidden in an overgrown backyard, police said.

Conklin said the guns will be tested to determine if they have been used in other crimes.

He added that the department has been working with community groups from the West End in an effort to get a handle on the shootings and drugs in the area, and to offer residents some relief.

"This is a directive from the Chief and isn't something that is going to go away soon," he said. "Residents should not have to live in fear."

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