CONNECTICUT, USA — Six police departments along Connecticut’s shoreline are working together to crack down on traffic violations. The task force, created last year, goes by the name “The South-Central Regional Traffic Enforcement Unit.”
On Tuesday, the team set up shop on Universal Dr. in North Haven, using license plate readers and laser technology to pick up on unregistered and uninsured vehicles.
“Obviously, bringing more resources to the table, you get more done in one day,” said Sgt. Joseph Mulhern with the East Haven Police Department.
The unit is made up of police officers from East Haven, North Haven, Branford, North Branford, Guilford and Madison. Sgt. Mulhern is supervising the operation, along with Sgt. Tony DePascale from North Haven Police.
“It’s a joint effort,” Sgt. Mulhern said.
That effort began at eight o’clock in the morning, in another location in North Haven. When they reached Universal Dr., the six patrol cars lined up, waiting for cues from the supervisors to go after violators.
“Sgt. DePascale has a plate reader software which will alert him when one of the cars is unregistered or uninsured, stolen plate or an actual stolen vehicle,” Sgt. Mulhern said.
That plate reader recognizes cars as they drive by, takes a broad picture, and then the software focuses in on the plate, grabs the plate, runs the plate through DMV and then kicks it back to the police.
Outside of unregistered or stolen cars, the officers are also looking for violations like reckless driving, speeding, or driving under the influence. And when they find one of those things, they’ll pull the driver over. However, they’re not always ticketing. The goal, Sgt. Mulhern said, is to educate people. That especially applies to those driving cars that have been unregistered for years.
“You shouldn’t be on the road in that case and if you cause an accident and you’re not insured, it goes on the other insurers. So, it’s a good thing to be out here and just get everyone back up to speed,” Sgt. Mulhern said.
Another benefit to the operation is the long-lasting relationships the officers are creating with people in other departments.
“Exactly. Have resources to reach out to, whenever you have something from another town, or you want to get some information, you have resources to do so, and friends,” Sgt. Mulhern said.
The officers are halfway through the six-week program, where they visit one town each week. They still haven’t paid a visit to Madison, Guilford, or Branford, but they’re on the list.
During Tuesday’s operation, Sgt. Mulhern said they made 85 motor vehicle stops, eight misdemeanor summonses, 38 infractions, 41 written/verbal warnings, and towed six vehicles.
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