It is also unfortunate that Council members can't , or won't , come up with proposals based upon their constituents needs but rather jump on board with legislation dangled in front of them by the ACLU. I never voted for an ACLU lawyer to represent me on the Hartford City Council. Our Council members need to get out in the Community more and start listening to what is important to residents of the City. And not only act like they are listening after they rile people up with misinformation
Early this spring, City residents were sending a message loud and clear at every opportunity that ATV's and crime were an issue. The Hartford Police responded with a program that included aerial surveillance and the operation was successful in clearing many of the ATV's off our streets for most of the summer. That aerial surveillance in the future will include a "drone" aspect to provide the aerial view and tracking for illegal activity on our streets and in our Parks.
Another aspect of the Council's disdain for technology is video surveillance, especially facial recognition technology. Facial recognition technology is used in many instances now, such as sporting events, concerts and other venues that attract large numbers of people. It serves a purpose and if that purpose is to keep us safer in this day and age, I have a hard time condemning that technology and I don't feel threatened by it.
Much of the Council's opposition to HPD technology is not due to the "Big Brother" watching fears, it is more about promoting Hartford as a Sanctuary City where everyone if free of any fear of detection. The sad part is that even people who choose to come here because Hartford is known as a Sanctuary City, still have the same potential of being victims of crime as everyone else, possibly more.
The Council's anti-Police Technology agenda, and make no mistake, there is an agenda in play here, only serves to foster greater mistrust in our Police Department. If the Hartford City Council were serious about holding our Police Department accountable to its residents, the Civilian Police Review Board would be fully functional and meeting regularly to let residents know that their complaints would be handled promptly and dealt with when issues arise. Not the lapdog joke it has been allowed to become under the Council's oversight , or should I say lack of oversight
We are fortunate as a City that we don't face the problems that many other Cities face with their Police Departments. Is HPD perfect? Absolutely not, our Police Department can always improve and strive to do better, but let's not create problems for someone's self serving agenda. Transparency is a huge issue for any Police Department in gaining and holding the Public's trust.
HPD is a leader, in my opinion, in transparency. As an example, last week after an Officer involved shooting, HPD Command Staff released audio recordings within hours of the event. Other cities may take close to a year to release recordings.
If the Hartford City Council set aside their personal agendas and started actually working for their constituents needs, maybe things would change.
It is popular to attack the Police these days, but it should also be popular for elected Council members to attack homelessness, slumlords, disgusting living conditions, childhood asthma, gun violence, drug deaths, Hell, even the inequality of auto insurance rates for City resident's should be important, but I guess those issues are less important to the ACLU than a drone protecting Hartford residents.