Kelly: 10,000 shots in one city is unacceptable

November 11, 2021

Opinion by state Sen. Kevin Kelly as it appeared in Hearst CT Media.

A 14-year-old might be alive today if Connecticut’s justice system were stricter, says Gov. Lamont.

As many as 200 juveniles should be in custody to keep communities safe, according to state police.

There were 10,968 shots fired in Bridgeport so far this year, more than double the 5,094 incidents in all of 2020. In New Haven, shots fired have increased 130 percent from 2019.

These are not anecdotes. This is reality. Yet Connecticut’s Democratic legislative leaders think there’s nothing to see here. They believe the public should “rest assured” that Connecticut is safer than other states. Lock your car door, and all will be right in the world.

Connecticut’s Senate Democratic leaders don’t care that crime in our state is rising. They dismiss those facts on the single premise that there are other places more dangerous than Connecticut. But kids in Connecticut are dying.

To dismiss those deaths — to dismiss the violence, the crime and the trauma communities are facing by saying Connecticut is safer than someplace else — is appalling.

Gov. Lamont does not need to wish that the justice system had been stricter. The governor and his party have the power and votes to act.

Gov. Lamont: Call us into session now. Work with us to implement the policies that can save lives today and prevent crime in the future. We’ve outlined a plan for a Better Way to a Safer Connecticut ( because we need justice reforms to keep people safe and to create jobs and supports to prevent crime in the future.

We believe safe communities and kids’ lives are worth fighting for.