Herron Keyon Gaston

State Senator

Herron Keyon Gaston

Deputy Majority Leader

Empowering Communities, Driving Change

March 16, 2023

Senator Gaston Leads Committee Vote Passage on Combating Gun Violence

State Senator Herron Keyon Gaston (D-Bridgeport), Chair of the Public Safety and Security Committee, lead committee passage of Senate Bill 1162, ‘An Act Requiring Community Roundtable and Funding Community Policing Programs To Combat Gun Violence’.

Senate Bill 1162 would require law enforcement units to hold community roundtables to discuss with community representatives gun violence prevention methods. In addition to the roundtables, the bill also establishes a pilot program to fund community policing programs in certain municipalities, to reduce gun violence and improve relationships between law enforcement units and the communities they serve.

“I am dedicated to the creation of new programs in our state to help reduce gun violence,” said Sen. Gaston. “Too many young lives are lost every day to careless acts of gun violence, and we need to take the steps necessary in accountability and preventative measures. It takes a community and with a collaborative effort I am positive we can begin to make a difference.”

SB 1162 will require law enforcement agencies in each town in Connecticut to hold meetings with representatives from social services and mental health agencies, organizations that serve the municipality, people from organizations that seek to combat gun violence in the municipality, representatives from the judicial branch, and one or more prosecutors serving the judicial district that includes the municipality. During these meetings, it will be encouraged to share information and data that has been collected over the past months while developing strategies to reduce gun violence and crime throughout the state. Discussions held will also require everyone to work collaboratively to improve the responsiveness and accountability of law enforcement. All these meetings that take place will be open to the public.

Also under SB 1162, the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection will establish a pilot program to provide certain law enforcement agencies with funding to enhance community policing programs. All law enforcement units that receive funding will be required to report on how the funds have been used and whether it impacted gun violence in the town by July 1, 2025.