Some 350 local, state and federal law enforcement officers in the Hartford, Ct., area rounded up 87 fugitives in raids aimed at suspects who had evaded the law for years. “It’s time to get these vipers off the street,” state Public Safety Commissioner Arthur Spada said.
The Hartford Courant says that authorities had warrants for 50 very dangerous suspects, including eight wanted on murder charges, but only one person was picked up on an attempted-murder charge. Most arrests were for violations of probation or parole, assault and drug charges and other minor offenses.
Warrants for 7,000 fugitives had piled up in Hartford because the police department has been unable to devote enough manpower to tracking down suspects.
Spada, who initiated the fugitive roundup after a wave of gun violence in late summer, said criminals must not be allowed to believe they can commit crimes without consequence. “Crime is the reason for deteriorating neighborhoods, and deteriorating neighborhoods lead to deteriorating cities,” he said. “Today we start a renaissance in Hartford, returning it to its former glory.”