- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 5, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - A bill that would prevent Connecticut municipal police officers from crossing into another community to enforce their town’s ordinances cleared the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The legislation, which passed on a 109-38 vote, was prompted by an incident involving former Major League Baseball player and ESPN baseball analyst Doug Glanville.

The Hartford resident recently told lawmakers about how he was approached by a West Hartford officer while shoveling his own driveway and accused of violating West Hartford’s ordinance against door-to-door solicitations.

Glanville, who is black, said he simply met the description of a male in a dark coat with a shovel who was soliciting snow-removal work in West Hartford.

“No introduction, no explanation, just said, ‘So, you trying to make some extra bucks shoveling people’s driveways around here?’” Glanville wrote in testimony describing the encounter. He said he was “outraged” by how he was approached by the officer, explaining how he was left to “de-escalate an offensive situation” when the person escalating it was the authority.

Rep. Matt Ritter, a Democrat and Glanville’s neighbor, said the bill only prevents police from enforcing local ordinances in other towns, not enforcing state laws. For example, if someone robs a store in one community, local police can still cross into another community and arrest that person.

Some lawmakers voiced concern with the bill, which now moves to the Senate for further action. Rep. J.P. Sredzinski, R-Monroe, said he worries the legislation might prevent an officer who witnesses illegal dumping from pursuing the violator into another city or town and enforcing a local dumping ordinance.

“It could be affecting our communities in a much broader way,” he warned.


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