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Letter: Something Must Be Done About Crime

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Dear West Hartford Residents,

As one of the endorsed Republican candidates for the West Hartford Town Council, I thought is was important to provide insight on a subject that has become a major issue with our town.

On Friday at 1:30 p.m. there was a carjacking at the Bishop’s Corner post office. This is the third carjacking in West Hartford in 2021. All three carjackings took place in broad daylight and one car had a child inside when stolen.

Unfortunately, carjackings in West Hartford is not a new thing. Last year on Aug. 13, 2020 a carjacking took place at the same Bishop’s Corner post office also in broad daylight and another carjacking took place in Bishop’s Corner on Jan. 9, 2020.

Below is the response from our elected officials from an article in the Hartford Courant on July 21, 2021.

“I’m hearing from some constituents,” said Sen. Derek Slap, a Democrat from West Hartford. “We can say, ‘look, the statistics are much better than they were 10 years ago’ but nobody wants to hear it and I get that.”

Rep. Tammy Exum, a Democrat from West Hartford, said she met with police Chief Vernon Riddick recently to discuss public safety in town.

Exum said she has compassion for the victims of crime. “We’re seeing an uptick in serious crime,” she said. “I care a lot about the prevention side, looking at what it is we need to do to fill the gap, so young people have opportunities … so they are not having this time to spend on these kinds of things.”

Below are some headlines of carjackings that took place after July 21st.

Wethersfield police are investigating a carjacking that happened on Jordan Lane Monday night. August 23rd

BRIDGEPORT — Police said they are seeking five individuals they say tried to steal someone’s car in the city Tuesday night. August 3rd

GLASTONBURY — Two males pulled a driver from his luxury car at the Mobil station at 2997 Main St. shortly before 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and stole the vehicle, police said. August 10th

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (WTNH) —  Rocky Hill Police are investigating a “carjacking” type robbery at Mozzicato Bakery Saturday. August 28th

CLINTON, Connecticut — Clinton police are investigating an early-morning carjacking that took place last week at Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets. August 19th

We have a major problem with crime in West Hartford and it’s not just carjackings, these crimes are becoming more violent. In my opinion, as a member of the new West Hartford Civilian Police Review Board and current candidate for West Hartford Town Council, we need to change the policy and culture created by our elected officials that are directly responsible for this increase in crime in our town.

This starts with better community policing programs, supporting our police with the appropriate resources they need to prevent crimes, enacting ordinances and guidelines that can address these crimes in a more tactical fashion and several other items that are part of our platform, which we will be announcing very soon.

I call on Mayor Shari Cantor, Sen. Derek Slap, Rep. Tammy Exum, Rep Kate Farrar, and Rep Jillian Gilchrest to take action now and to work closely with our Republican elected officials and candidates to develop bipartisan solutions to these problems!

Alberto Cortes
Republican candidate for Town Council

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1 Comment

  • This is not an Op/Ed, this is a political ad. Cynically trying to cash in on recent events.

    “…we need to change the policy and culture created by our elected officials that are directly responsible for this increase in crime in our town.”

    This is a broad claim, with serious implications, and no supporting evidence. You’re just stating it as if it fact. But it’s really just what you take for granted because of your politics. So what specifically are you talking about here?

    What is the culture of West Hartford that is “directly responsible” for crime? Please tell me what it is about me and my neighbors that causes crime in our community. Because from my perspective we have a friendly, productive culture. Here’s an alternate possibility: West Hartford is a relatively wealthy community that is close to relatively poor communities. Seems to me like criminal elements from one might target the other. Perhaps to tackle that problem we should concentrate on ensuring there are good opportunities for all young people in CT, to prevent crime in the future, as you quote Tammy Exum as saying.

    What are the policies of the town council that are “directly responsible” for crime? Please, cite them. If you can’t, then don’t make the accusation. What you did cite is that your political opponent met with the chief of police in order to work on prevention. Is that not what the town council should be doing? Are you implying that the WHPD is under funded? Even if that were true, there doesn’t seem to be a coverage problem. There was a police car in Bishop’s Corner when the recent carjacking occurred. Of course I can only speculate what you meant, because you didn’t say.

    And finally, where is the data? You have provided anecdotes, not measurements, for your claim that there is an “increase in crime”. If you are going to make such a serious claim against your political opponents, you should provide data from an independent source. Otherwise you might look like a political hack.

    If you want my vote, you will have to work for it. Complaining and throwing dirt won’t cut it.

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