HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut Senate Republican leaders unveiled a plan to address a surge in violent crime.
Their package of legislative proposals was revealed during a news conference at noon on Wednesday outside of the State Capitol in Hartford.
A 14-year-old boy was shot in the back overnight while inside a home in Waterbury.
Republicans said the plan includes justice reforms to improve crime response, support law enforcement, and remove barriers to intervention services, as well as policies to address the root causes of crime including issues related to trauma, education, housing and jobs.
Sen. Kevin Kelly of Stratford, Sen. Paul Formica of East Lyme, and Sen. John Kissel of Enfield spoke about the plan.
Republican Minority Leader Sen. Kevin Kelly said, “we need to ensure law enforcement and our justice system have the tools to keep all people safe, but it’s so much more than just that. We also need action to prevent crime to end the cycle of juvenile injustice and a lack of opportunity that pushes people especially our young people toward crime.”
Lawmakers and advocates pushed to have juvenile crime discussed during a special session. That didn't happen.
Democrats said Connecticut is still one of the safest states, and Republicans are trying to scare people.
The republican plan does call for more accountability, but it also calls for investing in programs and services.
Sen. John Kissel of Enfield said, “the approach senate republicans are taking is holistic.”
Kelly said, “we also need action to prevent crime to end the cycle of juvenile injustice and a lack of opportunity that pushes people especially our young people toward crime.”
Democrats say some of these programs already exist and there is no emergency.
Governor Ned Lamont said, “data shows we are one of the safest states in the country one of the lowest levels of violent crime in the country.”
Sen. Gary Winfield of New Haven stated, “I understand the proposal they are putting forward, I don’t know if it’s actually the solution.”
Lady Carrie McCrorey works with kids in Hartford’s public schools, she also started a non-profit and is a community activist. She said the focus has to be on prevention not just punishment.
“I bring the families in, I bring the parents in,” said McCrorey. “We need to be more proactive before things start happening. We need to have things set up in place for these kids to go.”
Democrats said some of these proposals may be worth looking at, and there will be more discussions when lawmakers return for their regular session in February.
Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage.