Op-Ed: House Republicans fighting for safer communities

State Rep. Ben McGorty (R-122) has been appointed Assistant Republican Leader by House Republican Leader-elect Vincent Candelora on Dec. 4.

State Rep. Ben McGorty (R-122) has been appointed Assistant Republican Leader by House Republican Leader-elect Vincent Candelora on Dec. 4.

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As the 2021 legislative session continues, members of the House Republican Caucus have made the public safety and security of our neighborhoods one of our biggest priorities. We've heard loud and clear from our constituents and partners in law enforcement about the unacceptable increase in motor vehicle thefts and violent crimes. This cannot continue. House Republicans are pushing for clear solutions to empower law enforcement, protect victims and see that our laws are enforced.

We've introduced a proposal that would automatically transfer the cases of repeat offenders to the adult docket, use GPS tools to enforce court dates, and have DCF intervene in cases where a youth is involved in serious criminal activity. Stealing a car is a serious crime and committing this crime more than once shows serious disregard for the privacy and the property of others. People are tired of feeling unsafe in their own neighborhoods and it's time for this state to stand up for victims.

But our police can't be expected to make the snap decisions required to defuse high-pressure situations if they're being held to an impossibly high standard created for them by government. The police accountability bill passed during the 2020 special legislative session created that unfair standard, it limits their ability to get hard drugs and illegal guns off the street and it leaves your communities less safe. At the very least, we want the effective date of the law to be delayed until we have a chance to fix some of the most harmful parts.

Living a short distance from Sandy Hook and Newtown, Shelton knows the important role school resource officers play in keeping our classrooms safe. We also know the outreach and education they provide to students in all communities is invaluable, especially drug and alcohol prevention. We don't believe school resource officers should be removed from our public schools, unlike one Democratic Senator.

I would encourage you all to see for yourselves what House Republicans are doing to protect and revitalize our state by visiting www.cthousegop.com/restartct/.

State Rep. Ben McGorty is an Assistant Republican Leader in the House of Representatives. He serves the 122nd District of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.