Shoreline towns look to share arresting powers

New London

When New London police are following a suspect they may need to back off if the the person crosses town lines.

They can call for assistance from neighboring Waterford or East Lyme but they don’t have the authority to follow the suspect out of the city to make an arrest .

“Over the past 20 years the narcotics dealing has changed drastically and everybody’s mobile,” said New London Police Chief Peter Reichard.

Last night the New London city council authorized Mayor Michael Passero to sign an agreement to share full arresting powers with Waterford and East Lyme.

“I think it enhances what all three agencies can do,” said Chief Reichard who would like to see his narcotics investigators join forces even more with the neighboring towns.

“Everybody’s using cellular phones,” said Chief Reichard. “They’re using digital media. They’re using facebook selling their drugs. They go from town to town in two or three minutes.”

Waterford First Selectman Daniel Steward has already signed on and East Lyme is expected to consider the move next.

While the agreement focuses on the undercover narcotics investigations, if officers or investigators see a drug deal go down in the city but then that suspect crosses into the next town then they can follow that person and make an arrest.

They can also make an arrest if they notice some type of illegal action while doing an investigation involving a neighboring town. 

Right now, they have to call the local police to assist in the investigation and they make the arrest.

“It does delay things and it may have a different outcome,” said Chief Reichard.

“I think the police need to be able to do what they have to do,” said Leslie Collins of Montville who shops in Waterford.

 “Ultimately all these arrestees will be in the same courthouse underneath the same prosecutor before the same judges,” said Chief Reichard.

If the agreement is approved, the court would receive a list of the officers who have been sworn in by all three municipalities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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