Report by Paula Antolini, October 22, 2020, 6:54PM EDT
As Gov. Lamont sends in state police to help Hartford respond to an increase in gun violence, Republicans call on him to use his executive powers to suspend a police bill that has made it more difficult for police to do their jobs.
HARTFORD – October 16, 2020 – Deputy House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) and Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) are calling on Governor Ned Lamont to use his executive powers to suspend the state’s new police accountability law in response to an increase in crime across the state. Their request comes on the same day Governor Lamont has directed the Connecticut State Police to provide the Hartford Police Department with additional resources to target a recent increase of gun violence in the state’s capital city.
Public Act 20-1 An Act Concerning Police Accountability includes multiple provisions that went into effect on October 1, 2020. Fasano and Candelora said the new law has had a negative effect on police recruitment, retention, and has emboldened individuals committing crimes.
The Republican lawmakers are calling on the Governor to suspend the provisions contained in the new law until his executive powers end on February 9, 2021. This will give the legislature an opportunity to revisit the law and make changes early next year. Democrat lawmakers have repeatedly refused to reconsider or make modifications to this bill in special session this year.
“After hearing from our local police officers, there is no question in my mind that the new police accountability bill is impacting the public safety of our residents,” said Rep. Candelora. “Bringing more police presence into Hartford, while well intentioned, does not change the fact that our state police are bound by the same restrictions imposed by the new legislation. Democrats had an opportunity to fix the problems in this bill in September, but refused. I believe it is imperative that the Governor act swiftly to suspend this legislation and provide the legislature an opportunity to address the problem before more people are harmed or killed in our streets.”
“There is a direct correlation between an increase in violence and criminal activity in our state and the new police bill passed this summer,” said Sen. Fasano. “The new law ties the hands of officers, makes proactive policing more difficult, and has already begun to hurt recruitment and retention of good officers. The result is an uptick in crime across our state that we cannot ignore. We need to revisit this legislation to consider how all policies, no matter how well intentioned, will impact an officer’s ability to safely do their job and protect all people. The Governor’s plea for help for Hartford is just the latest example of why this bill needs to be reconsidered. The FBI is involved in investigation gang violence in Meriden. New Haven residents have been calling for increased policing in their communities. City after city have reported increases in shootings and crime this year. And officer recruitment is already suffering.”