State police commissioner, local chiefs discuss juvenile crime

Posted: Updated:

State Police Commissioner James Rovella met with seven local police chiefs in Bridgeport today as part of an effort to crack down on kids who commit crime.

Newtown Police Chief James Viaderro was one of the police chiefs who came together in Bridgeport today along with Rovella to talk about what he called the “revolving door” for juveniles and what can be done about it.

"We're concerned, it's a dangerous situation,” said Viaderro. “You know, you get police that are involved in these motor vehicle chases, citizens who are out there that are innocent and at times we're seeing it ratchet up a little bit right now that it's turning more violent."

Rovella, who used to be the Hartford police chief, says both urban and rural districts are experiencing the exact same trend.

"We're seeing juveniles involved in auto theft and engaging police in pursuit, and there's no penalty for it,” says Rovella. “We have to bring them home and they go out the back door and do it again."

Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez says Connecticut's serious juvenile offender guidelines used to provide for stiffer penalties.

"This is not about putting people in jail,” says Perez. “This is about changing that behavior and making it positive for them."

Perez says the chiefs will prepare a list of recommendations to present to lawmakers. He says this panel will soon meet with state lawmakers to recommend more accountability for kids who commit crime.


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