Transportation Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5315

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING RAILS.

Vote Date:

3/23/2018

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

3/5/2018

File No.:

Disclaimer: The following JOINT FAVORABLE Report is prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and does not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose.

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Transportation Committee

REASONS FOR BILL:

To allow the Central New England Railroad Company to establish a railroad police department authorized to enforce the laws of any jurisdiction in which the company owns or leases property; requires that police employed by the company be POST-certified police officers. (Effective Date: October 1, 2018)

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

NONE

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

David Caron – Has over 40 years of law enforcement experience and recently retired from the Glastonbury Police Department where he served as the Chief of Police for five years. He was an active member of the CT Chiefs of Police Association for approximately 20 years, a graduate of the FBI Leadership Program and a recent past president of the FBI National Academy CT Chapter. Additionally Mr. Caron was a SWAT officer for 30 years prior to founding and commanding the first regional SWAT team in CT where he also served as the Commanding Officer for 14 years.

John Cavanna – Has over 13 years of law enforcement experience and currently work as a Police Sergeant for the Hartford Police Department. He is certified in Rail Safety through the Northeast Rules Operating Advisory Committee (NORAC)

Officers Caron and Cavanna testified in support of passage of HB 5315 and provided the following testimony.

Central New England Railroad Company (CNER) is one of 17 railroad companies operating in CT managing two sections of track in Central CT through the towns of Hartford, Bloomfield, Windsor, South Windsor, East Windsor and Enfield since 1995. (8 freight carriers and 9 passenger carriers including operational railroad museums). The establishment of a CNER police department would:

n Require police officers to have POST certification, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) railroad and rail transit investigations training and hazardous materials training.

n Conduct patrols and secure railroad facilities, stations, warehouses, fuel depots, and rail lines.

n Maintain a federal, state and municipal partnership. Local police departments will maintain their jurisdictional law enforcement.

n Seek out and apply for funding through Federal Transportation, Homeland Security and COPS grants, etc.

n Allow local police to be freed up from calls for service, complaints and investigations that come in on the railroads in their towns.

n Provide:

public safety

law enforcement and emergency management of the CNER rail lines

a rapid response of resources and equipment to the isolated and secluded rail line areas that local police, fire and medical responders cannot access

public safety communications and interoperability solutions

additional police officers in each of the 6 towns along the rail lines and stations

rail safety training to CT police officers and responders

The economic advantage of establishing a CNER police department is that it would be at no cost to the state or towns since it would be a private company.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

NONE

Reported by: Eileen Bronko, Assistant Clerk

Date: March 29, 2018