Hartford Police Ease Up on Arresting Students

The city of Hartford says too many of its students are being arrested while they are at school. Some city leaders said police had gone way too far to calm violence in the hallways, and they wanted officers to ease up. 

On Thursday night NBC Connecticut learned changes were coming. We found videos posted online that showed teens fighting at Hartford High School.  Students here said it was a common problem that has gotten their friends locked up.

"I've got friends that have been arrested," explained senior Shamek Mendes.That student said the arrests weren't always warranted and weren't the solution.

"Kids are getting nothing from getting taken out of school," Mendes added.

City Councilor Cynthia Jennings agreed and pushed for change.

"It's not a good precedent for any city," she said. 

So Hartford Police just reached an agreement with the school district, where officers would ease up on arresting kids for small disturbances.

 "Instead of going to an immediate arrest, be more understanding be a little more humanistic, and sympathetic of the child's needs," said Councilor Kyle Anderson.  He added, some students involved in small disturbances at school needed support instead of jail time. He said that would now be the focus.

"Theres something else going on, serve them and get them additional counseling or services to address the issues they may be facing," Anderson added.

The goal was to fix the behavior to make the schools safer. "Now we're trying to get more police out of the schools and put them on the street," Anderson explained. 

That way police would not have to focus on the problems in the hallways. 

City leaders said security guards would keep their presence in the schools to handle safety issues, and police would respond for serious issues.


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