Tackling police reform with New Haven’s newest police commissioner

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — With policing such a critical issue in the country right now, News 8 went one-on-one with New Haven’s newest police commissioner about what he hopes to do on the job.

Monday night, the Board of Alders approved Michael Lawlor to serve on the Board of Police Commissioners.

Lawlor, a member of Connecticut’s House of Representatives for 24-years has built a reputation as an expert on criminal justice reform. In addition, Lawlor has taught criminal justice at the University of New Haven since 1995.

His appointment comes at a critical time as demonstrations have called for racial justice and police accountability.

Lawlor told News 8, “way too much is expected of our police officers.”

“I think part of the solution,” he said, “is going to be adding different kinds of specialists to law enforcement. So, whether it’s a crime scene investigator, or someone who can deal with mental illness, or homelessness. People who are specially trained to deal with these things.”

There’s been a rise in violent crime during the pandemic. New Haven Police indicate the number of shootings and homicides in the city at this point this year is the most in nine years.

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