HPD Video of a recent Fatal Accident at Barbour and Westland Streets
Some of the blame for that number has to be due to steadily decreasing numbers of Police Officer's on our streets (Thank you Mayor Bronin and City Council members)
The police presence is no where near where it should be, but with that being said , another statistic bothers me much more than the homicide rate. In roughly the first month of 2018, Hartford has experienced 7 fatal motor vehicle accidents. That number is compared to 9 fatal accidents for all of 2017. I fear being a victim every time I leave my driveway, and not a victim of a homicide as much as a crazy lawless driver on our streets .
There is very little traffic enforcement on the streets of our City. HPD officers are sometimes backed up for hours answering calls and have very little unallocated time to stop these crazy drivers and issue tickets.
The Hartford Police Traffic Division has been doing a commendable job under the recent direction of LT. Gabe Laureano ,but the number of officers assigned to his division have been steadily depleted, to just a handful of officers now. And those handful of officers are also responsible for maintaining traffic order and control at all Uconn games, hockey games and events at the XL center as well as concerts and events at the Xfinity Theater. Add to that the fact that CRDA, the Connecticut Redevelopment Authority is delinquent in paying their bills to the City of Hartford for Police Services to the tune if almost a $ 1 million dollars
That delinquency was first uncovered here by "We the People" http://wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com/2017/12/hartford-auditors-xl-center-owes-hpd.html
It is time for HPD and the City of Hartford to collect the dead beat funds from CRDA and put some of that money into increased traffic enforcement on our streets to send a message and an effort to reduce these traffic deaths and protect from more innocent victims and deaths.
Many of the cars on Hartford's streets are what HPD officers call "Hartford Specials". These are cars that are typically unregistered and uninsured and in many cases the operators have no insurance and their drivers license may very well be suspended or revoked. Your possibility of recovering any loss if you are struck by one of these Hartford Specials is pretty slim , that goes for both vehicle damage or insurance for any injuries you may incur.
With our new Police Chief, David Rosado having just retired as the Lt. Colonel of the Connecticut State Police, there might nor be anyone better suited at HPD to champion the cause of increased traffic enforcement. And maybe if HPD is not equipped to assign additional officers to the Traffic Division due to the Mayor's failure to hire sufficient officers, it might be time to request some stepped up enforcement from the CSP Traffic Division as well as DMV inspectors to send a message that innocent driving deaths are not acceptable in Hartford.
Otherwise, if we keep on track, anticipate a 1000% increase in traffic deaths on our streets for 2018. I am much more concerned by that stat than I am in a 160% increase in homicides, although neither should be acceptable to us.