Sen. Kelly: We Must Broaden Conversation on Stopping Crime, Creating Opportunity

August 6, 2021

Kelly: “If we are talking only about data and detention, we have already lost.”


HARTFORD – Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement in response to comments made during a press conference at the State Capitol today on car thefts and youth crime:


“I agree that we absolutely need to broaden conversations to address the root causes of rising crime. A safer Connecticut starts with a stronger Connecticut. It starts with an economy that can support jobs, build hope, and create a path to success for young people. It starts with proactive policing, appropriate consequences for repeat offenders, and ensuring our justice system has the tools to successfully rehabilitate.


“This is about much more than just juvenile car thefts. New Haven’s homicide rate is up 66.7 percent so far this year. Hartford is on pace for one of its deadliest years in decades, with over 20 murders halfway through 2021. Connecticut is facing a severe blood shortage because demand from trauma cases is so high. There is rising violent crime across our state and most significantly in our cities. Five cities in Connecticut make up 16% of Connecticut’s population, but over 1/3 of crime occurs within those urban areas. There are victims that have been ignored for far too long that live in our cities, areas controlled by Democrats for decades. It’s wrong that only now that violence has moved beyond our cities are Democrats in charge confronted with their failures.


“To suggest the solution is as simple as locking your car completely misses the conversation we should be having and places the source of the problem on the victim. Locking your car is good advice, but it won’t stop the violence and it won’t give kids opportunity. To suggest police are not using tools available to them is not accurate, and shows why we need broad conversations with all stakeholders together. As I have heard from police officers themselves, if we are talking only about data and detention, we have already lost. We need opportunity, that means economic growth and jobs. We need family supports. We must address trauma. We must empower communities to make decisions on how to invest in their local kids to divert young people from going down the wrong path that leads to crime.”