State Sen. Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven), ranking member of the Public Safety and Security Committee, applauded the Senate’s passage of S.B. 1036, which will establish a Greater Hartford Regional Law Enforcement Task Force to combat illegal roadway traffic activity. Senator Cicarella joined the bipartisan legislative effort to investigate and deter groups of hundreds of people from unlawfully operating motor vehicles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles on public roadways.
“This isn’t just happening in Hartford and surrounding towns. It’s happening all over the state of Connecticut and across the country. It is dangerous. It is dangerous for the criminals involved as well as the public. This task force is the first step to restoring public safety on our roadways. Here in East Haven, we’ve seen how dangerous these events can become when criminal operators encroach on residential property when evading police. Locally, we’ve also seen a shooting that stemmed from such an unlawful gathering.
“These illegal street takeovers are highly organized, and a task force will enable us to understand when they are happening, and assemble local and federal resources to address the issues before they take place. Like any other public safety issue, enabling law enforcement to be pro-active prevents escalation into an extremely dangerous and violent incident. Our local law enforcement are using all the tools they can to enforce the law right now, and need more support,” said Senator Cicarella.
“They need added support because this is happening everywhere. This bill will lead to a collaborative effort between local police forces, state police and the task force to address a serious public safety concern. I hope it is also something that we can expand upon, so that cities and towns across the state can combat this issue that affects all residents,” he said.
The push comes after hundreds of individuals have participated in organized street takeovers across Connecticut, including locally in East Haven and New Haven, and most recently a violent motor vehicle gathering in Tolland. The task force will include state law enforcement officers and police from surrounding jurisdictions for a collaborative enforcement approach. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives where it awaits further action. The legislative session concludes on June 7.