I was watching Channel 3 news at eleven Wednesday night. They displayed a large amount of cash, drugs and guns seized today from Wilson Street in Hartford after an investigation by the shooting task force.
I've also seen that there is some question as to whether the Shooting Task Force will be continued past November of this year. I'm not sure why the timeline exists since gun violence seems to be year round in Hartford now. It also is quite apparent that Hartford's underground economy, the drug trade, fuels much, if not almost all of Hartford's gun violence.
It also seems quite obvious that at many times the right hand might not really be communicating with the left hand. If an operation that has been run with precision, such as that of the shooting task force, can produce the results they have in their short period of existence, why even think about ending it?
Instead, wouldn't it make more sense to strengthen it and expand the program? My thoughts are that Vice and Narcotics, actually make that Narcotics, (the "vice" part should be something the conditions units and Community Service Officers deal with)should be reconstituted and combined with the Shooting Task force unit as the Gun and Narcotics Task Force, roll all of those assigned to Narcotics now into a unit that most likely would produce some real results at reducing crime in Hartford.
And the involvement of the other agencies should also be kept. Drug and gun problems aren't confined within Hartford's borders. Much of the Task forces success is happening because of involvement, information and resources being developed outside of Hartford.A large part of the operational success of the task force, from what I have been told, is due in large part to the operational skills and "management style" pulling the task force together. Former Hartford Police Officer, now Chief Inspector from the State's Attorney's Office James Rovella and Lieutenant Lance Sigersmith, Commander of the HPD Intelligence Division, as well as numerous others from several agencies.
It just seems to make sense, the drugs are linked to the guns and the guns are linked to the drugs and the resources and expertise are out there producing results and making a difference. It would just take some leadership to find the funding and make it happen, most of the money is already being spent on the salaries, so it shouldn't be a big expense. It might actually be an example of working smarter and communicating to get results, rather than duplicating efforts and working against each other.
Let me hear your feedback.