Republicans pitch new plan at state Capitol to fight crime in Connecticut
State Republicans pitched a plan Wednesday to fight back against the rise in crime in Connecticut.
Connecticut is one of the safest states in the country, but officials say there has been a spike in violent crime, especially in the suburbs.
"We have a call to action," says state Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly.
The new plan, called A Safer Connecticut, would allow police to track teen offenders using GPS and to hold juveniles longer than six hours. They would appear in court the next day.
"Quite often with these juvenile arrests, they're released within six hours - by law. They won't be before a judge for two weeks," says state Sen. John Kissel.
It would also permit more children to be tried as adults. The Connecticut ACLU says Republicans are just looking for a campaign issue and are using teens as scapegoats.
"This is clear political fearmongering," says ACLU Executive Director David McGuire. "A lot of legislators in Connecticut have spent over a decade pushing for reforms to make it less likely that young people are put in adult court because it doesn't help them."
Gov. Ned Lamont says he's already made changes.
"You know what we're doing in terms of adding more judges and group detention facilities. So we can do a lot of that already. If they have some other ideas, I'm ready to listen," he says.
Republicans aren't just targeting juvenile crime. Their plan also scales back last year's police accountability law, which passed after George Floyd's murder.
Republicans would restore lawsuit immunity to some police officers.
"You want somebody that's not worried about losing everything they've worked for and ending up with a lawsuit," says Kelly.
Democrats say it's a "nonstarter."
"When I look at the facts, I don't see a need to enact the proposal before us," says state Sen. Gary Winfield.
Both sides do agree on parts of the plan, like expanding job programs for at-risk teens.