Body cameras are a benefit to all Connecticut

Cell phone or closed circuit video give hints, conflicting testimony often raises doubts, and the ensuing debate often leaves the public’s confidence in law enforcement severely shaken. For all our benefit, we should have a neutral account of police encounters in Connecticut. The new Connecticut state law that will provide funding for the implementation and use of body cameras by every police officer in Connecticut is beneficial not only for the general public, but for law enforcement as well.

Body cameras on Connecticut cops — a help or not?

New state law providing funding and standards for the use of police body cameras will go into effect in October, signaling a new era of oversight of law enforcement officers. How effective do you think this law will be? CTViewpoints invites you to contribute your insights on this new legislation from your perspective as a citizen, civil rights advocate, law enforcement official or other interest group.

Court reform must follow death of little Aaden Moreno

Though we want to think it is so, the recent death of 7-month-old Aaden Moreno at the hands of his father was not a rare event, but an all-too-common outcome of a child custody case. The child’s mother had sought a protective order based on the father’s history of abuse and threats against the mother and child. There is now a substantial body of scientific research that would make family court judges’ jobs easier, but our children will not be protected until we rely on domestic violence experts instead of general practitioners and integrate this important research into the standard court practices. The Safe Child Act is an evidence-based approach requiring that the health and safety of children must be the first priority in all custody and visitation decisions.

In Connecticut juvenile justice, children get many second chances

A two-part series in the Connecticut Mirror this week asked the question of whether youth who break the law in Connecticut receive a second chance. It focused on the relatively small share of youth in the juvenile justice system who are placed in secure settings rather than the vast majority who receive services at home and in the community. What the article left out is that youths who are committed by Juvenile Court judges to the Department of Children and Families and placed at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School have received many second chances before that point.

Let down by Hartford City Hall

A few weeks ago, a burglar stole my beloved special edition Vespa from my condominium in the Farmington Avenue area of Hartford — the second one that gets stolen from me. The policeman who took the report told me “just file an insurance claim. We will never find it.” The Vespa I may be able to replace if I were to move into the suburbs. But sadly, what I cannot replace is my trust in City Hall, because this crime is not an outlier. We have had more than 22 burglaries in the neighborhood.

Nine shot, one dead in Bridgeport, ho hum.

Having witnessed numerous shootings, murders, break-ins, drug arrests and gang activity, the residents of Bridgeport’s Trumbull Gardens are accustomed to hearing gunshots in the night; and another shooting is hardly front page news. But even by the jaded standards of inner-city life, the shootings June 11 were exceptional in their brutality, their random nature and the utter disregard for human life displayed by the killers. And yet, aside from Mayor Bill Fitch and his rival in the upcoming primary, former mayor Joe Ganim, the Bridgeport police and some local clergy, the silence from Connecticut’s leaders is telling.

CT restraining order bill — protection for women or an infringement of firearms rights?

Dozens of witnesses have offered their opinion on Senate Bill 650, a proposal that would enhance in several ways protection for restraining order applicants. One controversial element, however, would also abridge the rights of Connecticut firearms owners, opponents say. Here are excerpts from a sampling of the written testimony both in favor of and opposing the firearms portion of the bill.

Connecticut women’s lives depend on fate of firearms removal bill

Two bills currently before the legislature would greatly expand protections for victims of domestic violence by ensuring that if a judge determines a victim is in imminent danger and grants a temporary restraining order, all firearms must be taken away from the person being served with the order. It’s time Connecticut closed a dangerous and unnecessary loophole that jeopardizes women’s safety and security in the home.

Connecticut soldier: Remember the fallen. Let’s live up to their ideals.

Today we remember our fallen angels who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Today we honor our veterans by trying to follow their example. Veterans who stand shoulder to shoulder as brothers and sisters try to look past each other’s differences in regards to race, gender, religion, social class, and sexual orientation. Why, then, do we face so many issues in our country pertaining to those things even though we, too, share the common link of all being Americans?