House and Senate Republicans Stand with Law Enforcement

Posted on March 6, 2024


HARTFORD—State Rep. Greg Howard, the House Ranking Member of the Public Safety Committee flanked by House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora, Senate Republican Leader Stephen Harding, the Ranking Senate Member of the Public Safety Committee Paul Cicarella and a bi-partisan coalition of House and Senate Republicans on Wednesday stood up for our state’s law enforcement and bolstering public safety in Connecticut instead of continuing to tie the hands of police.

With law enforcement representatives by his side, Rep. Howard backed the governor in his recent concern over public safety related to traffic fatalities, an issue Republicans have highlighted the last three years.

“Right now, on Connecticut roadways we have many public safety concerns, the clearance rate for criminal investigations has dropped from and traffic stops have also significantly declined,” said Rep. Howard, a police detective for the town of Stonington. “Data has shown that the mere presence of traffic stops, regardless of the reasons for the stop, leads to a decrease in speeds. There is no doubt that impaired driving, speed, and distracted driving are three of the leading causes of fatal accidents.”

Additionally, Howard mentioned how law enforcement morale is low, and continually believing they are attacked by the detrimental policies passed and proposed in the legislature, while criminals are being excused and supported. This has led to a crisis of recruitment and retention of law enforcement officers.

Rep. Howard pointed out two proposals today being heard in the Judiciary Committee that negatively affect law enforcement efforts in Connecticut.

H.B. 5055: An Act Strengthening Police Data Reporting Requirements

H.B. 5324: An Act Establishing Secondary Traffic Violations

“Prohibiting a law enforcement officer from stopping a motor vehicle for a secondary traffic violation would handcuff our police officers and makes our state less safe. This bill would prevent officers from pulling over a car for specific motor vehicle violations absent other violations. A number of the serious traffic violations designated as “secondary” under this bill directly impact the safety of our roads,” said Rep. Candelora.

“Unfairly targeting police officers for falsifying a police record but not punishing a non-officer that commits the same offense sends a negative message to law enforcement in state,” added Rep. Howard.

“It’s time that the governor and his party in Hartford adjust course, support our law enforcement, and acknowledge that where there is no enforcement, there is no compliance, and that is putting Connecticut residents in jeopardy every day,” concluded Rep. Howard.

“House and Senate Republicans stand with law enforcement,” said Sen. Harding.  “Many of the violent crimes we have seen could have been prevented, but law enforcement officers in our state are prevented from doing their jobs as a result of policies passed by the majority.  We are all appreciative of everything law enforcement does to protect our communities on a daily basis.  It’s about time we stand up for them and take a stand against crime.”

“What we’re hearing from law enforcement and what we’re discussing in the Public Safety Committee is recruitment and retention of officers,” said Sen. Cicarella.  “How are these bills going to help that? They are not. These are fourth-generation police officers who are telling us now that they don’t want their child to be a police officer. That’s because of the policies that are coming out of this building.”