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To the Editor:
Carol Blanks chairs our Town Council’s Public Safety Committee where she has worked with the West Hartford Police Department and Chief Riddick to help stem recent incidents of car-jacking and other automobile theft. Her efforts looked beyond the town by reaching out to other police departments, juvenile authorities, and communities throughout the region.
Councilor Blanks was especially concerned that our local police did not have timely access to state criminal arrest and probation records after work hours and on weekends. Yet, state law requires that juvenile offenders be released within six hours after arrest regardless of which day of the week or what time of day. It’s no help to find out after a criminal is back on the street that he or she has already been arrested multiple times for auto theft or other serious offenses.
Together with our state legislators and strong leadership from Connecticut Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, Councilor Blanks has already helped make a big difference. Now, Connecticut’s Judicial Department must provide on-call juvenile crime records 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This change is important because these crimes often involve gang activity and organized theft rings. Even more than that, Councilor Blanks continues to be a strong voice for prevention through community outreach to improve car owner security as well as more employment opportunities and positive activities for at-risk youth.
This is just one recent example of all the ways Councilor Carol Blanks works to make sure that West Hartford continues to be a community of welcoming, vibrant and safe neighborhoods for all.
Kevin B. Sullivan