Waterbury Police Have New Tools To Battle Blight And Reckless Driving

Waterbury's police chief, Mike Gugliotti

   Waterbury Police Chief Michael Gugliotti announced today that his officers have begun issuing new Municipal Citations to violator’s of the City’s Blight Ordinance. Gugliotti stated that this new process has many benefits. “First of all, we anticipate that the resolution of these complaints will be much faster than before, as the accused must pay his/her fine, or request a hearing with a City Hearing Officer within 10 days of ticket issuance. Additionally, since the Municipal Citations are issued to enforce the City’s Blight Ordinance, Waterbury keeps 100% of all fines collected.”  The Police Department’s Community Relations Division currently responds to and enforces blight related complaints. They notify property owners when a violation has occurred and allow a reasonable amount of time to address the violation. If no action is taken, citations will be issued, with fines beginning at $100/day.

   Chief Gugliotti noted that the police department worked closely with the City’s Corporation Counsel to effect this change. “The overwhelming complaints I hear from citizens are blight-related complaints and it was clear we had to do something to make the process more streamlined.” Chief Gugliotti hopes for voluntary compliance with the City’s Blight Ordinance, but he adds that officers are ready to cite those who refuse to clean-up after themselves.

  Additionally, citing citywide displeasure with reckless driving habits, Police Chief Michael Gugliotti implemented a Traffic Enforcement Unit this past August. Today, Gugliotti announced that this unit has stopped over 600 traffic violators and issued over 700 violations. “Not only are motor vehicle violations a danger to the public, but they also continue to be a frequently complained about quality of life issue.” Although their initial focus has been on speeding violations, the Traffic Unit has also been enforcing other vehicle safety related violations, such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, aggressive driving, lights & signs control and DUI. Gugliotti stated that with the Holiday Season rapidly approaching, the Traffic Unit will be out conducting more frequent seatbelt and DUI checkpoints.