Government and Politics
September 26, 2022
HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and Senate Republican Leader Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) released the following statement in response to state crime data released today:
“Far too many families do not feel safe in Connecticut today, and violence and crime remain a crisis in communities across our state. New Haven just had its deadliest year in a decade. Last week, Hartford marked its 28th homicide, which puts the city on track to have the highest homicide rate in 19 years. The data released today on rape is alarming and demands immediate attention. More people are speeding on our roads, traffic fatalities have increased, there were over 1,500 more car thefts in 2021 than in 2019, and police recruitment is a major issue.
“Not discussed at today’s press conference, but clear in the data released, is the fact that unsolved criminal cases in Connecticut are rising. The percentage of unsolved cases rose 8.6% from 2019 to 2021. For violent offenses, including murder and rape, the percentage of unsolved cases stands at 59%. The numbers are even higher for property offenses with 87% of crimes unsolved, and nearly 92% of motor vehicle thefts unsolved.
“While a bill was passed this year that begins to address the symptoms of crime in Connecticut, it failed to address the root causes. Connecticut must do more to prevent crime, support young people and families, and enable law enforcement to do their jobs. We continue to advocate for a holistic approach to address crime, justice, and opportunity in our state. That’s what we heard when we met with advocates, law enforcement, community leaders, and public defenders across Connecticut. And that’s what Senate Republicans put forward in our comprehensive plan for a Better Way to a Safer Connecticut. We must not only improve crime response, but we must also address the root causes of crime related to education, opportunity, trauma, housing and jobs. We must support law enforcement, address recruitment, and ensure there is proactive policing in partnership with the community in every town and city.”
The Senate Republican plan, rejected by CT Democrats, advocates for:
Intervention and Services. Support for community programs focused on trauma, truancy, mediation, and mentorship
Opportunity and Jobs.
Workforce Development – Path to Career programs to better connect young people to opportunities and careers including through apprenticeship program enhancements, access to financial aid, and information sharing on alternative paths to careers.
Pipeline for CT’s Future program with schools and local businesses to provide direct employment opportunities for Connecticut youth and promote entrepreneurship among high school students.
Summer jobs program to give youth the ability to know where their summer employment will be, to select a field of interest to them, and to have a known source of stable income in the summer months.
Vocational program recruitment to ensure Connecticut’s vocational-technical high schools are within reach for youth in urban communities and are being discussed with students at an early age.
Safe Housing. Safe housing policies including ending hidden ownership, studying the federal Housing Choice Voucher Program to evaluate any disparate impacts the program may have on the development of at-risk children and youth or families, and establishing a housing authority resident quality of life improvement grant program.
Law Enforcement Recruitment & Community Relationships
Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) Pipeline Pilot. A pilot program involving local universities with the goal of recruiting individuals to pursue law enforcement careers at the state and local level.
Expand Explorer Programs. Expanding successful “explorer” programs by creating a high school elective program focused on learning about law enforcement in which a student can earn credit to graduate. These programs have been successful in multiple communities in building interaction and involvement with young people and officers to build better community relationships.
Law Enforcement Support
Funding for Social/Data Intelligence. Investigations and proactive policing have become very much data driven and intelligence driven in recent years. Social media and online data can help officers prevent crime before situations escalate. This proposal seeks to ensure funding is available to assist police departments in budgeting for the modernization of intelligence tools.
Targeted revisions to the 2020 police bill to refine the legislation, while preserving its core intended goals to hold bad actors accountable, without having a chilling effect on proactive policing.
Read the Senate Republicans proposed Better Way to a Safer Connecticut.