Thursday, August 25, 2011
SENDING A MESSAGE AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The photo above is a sample of the weapons seized today by Hartford's shooting taskforce. Note the double clip taped together to double the capacity of the rifle
It seems like, and the numbers seemed to reinforce it, that for the first six months of this year Hartford's streets were run by thugs who had no fear of being held accountable for their actions. Fortunately, now a message is being sent that there is a new Sheriff in town and his name is Dannel Malloy. A drastic turn about in Hartford's gun crimes is taking place after Governor Malloy reached his boiling point and States Attorney Kevin Kane moved ahead with the Shooting Task force that is now bringing order back to Hartford's streets.
I don't have a lot of details yet but one source from HPD has told me that the shooting incidents and gun violence has been reduced 75% since the taskforce was pulled together. It isn't just the fact that they are running top notch investigations, they are sending a strong message to the street thugs.
Hartford Police, and most east coast law enforcement agencies, have a strict "no pursuit" policy. For some reason, the west coast doesn't seem to have such policies and usually pursuits in the west are media spectacles broadcast live via helicopter cameras.
In Hartford, it sends a dangerous message to criminals across the city... hit the gas and flee and you are safe until the next time you are chased and then repeat the above and flee once again. In the mean time, the thugs and their guns remain on the streets to commit more crimes. I do not necessarily condone police chases for motor vehicle charges, but there is a time to pursue and get the guns and the shooters off our streets.
In many cases before the facts are even in, a gun shy (no pun intended) supervisor is screaming over the radio "break it off, break it off" to the pursuing officer. Again, it sends a message to our fleeing felons that escape is almost inevitable unless you crash, or as was the case last week, you drive into a construction zone on Granby Street with no way out. No one said the criminals are bright, they just know how to pull a trigger.
Hopefully I can post more on the work of the taskforce in the future, but in the meantime the investigations are meticulous. They are really working as a team effort and bringing various resources to the table. They are identifying their targets , gathering information and building strong cases that are leading to arrest warrants for some of Hartford's most violent criminals.
And when the thugs try fleeing from the police now, there is no one yelling "break it off". The stop sticks are ready, the vehicles are tracked and hitting the gas does not ensure their escape from prosecution. Another suspect was caught today at Main and Nelson Streets after he decided the gas pedal was the way out, it wasn't.
HPD didn't back off and the suspect was caught after a brief foot chase. They must wonder what has changed now when they hit the gas in their rental cars and still see the flashing red and blue lights staying on their tails as they run.
It is sending the message that the "free for all, anything goes" days of the first half of 2011 are quickly coming to an end, Hartford's neighborhoods are being taken back by the hard work of the shooting task force combined with the other HPD officers on the streets doing their jobs and knowing the players in their areas.
I'm not sure why it took the Governor and Kevin Kane to start producing results for Hartford, but at least someone stepped up, showed some leadership and we are now seeing the results from Hartford's law enforcement officials and the Shooting Taskforce.