The town of Enfield, Connecticut is home to more than 44,654 individuals according to the 2010 census. All of these people are sharing a total of 34.2 square miles, 0.9 of which is a body of water, which makes for a slightly above average population density. A higher than normal population density is conducive to a high crime rate but fortunately for the Enfield townsfolk, the Enfield CT justice system is around to maintain peace and social order within the town.
The Enfield Police Department (EPD)
The first arm of Enfield CT’s justice system is the Enfield Police Department. This is a CALEA-accredited law enforcement agency that works closely with residents and visitors in maintaining public safety. The EPD consists of several divisions that work closely together, using the latest technological advances in police equipment in order to serve the town efficiently. The entire department adheres to the guidelines of the Metro Traffic Services and the Capitol Region emergency Response Team.
Aside from the common Patrol, School Resource, and Traffic officers, the EPD also employs officers from the following divisions:
A fairly small division that comprises of less than ten officers, the Animal Control Division handles cases related to domestic and wild animals. They are the department that will handle cases pertaining to violation of animal control laws, and will also coordinate with the city pound and licensed veterinarians when taking animals into custody. The Animal Control division is closely affiliated with the Enfield Animal Shelter located at Parsons Road.
The EPD maintains a division comprised of several police dogs and their handlers. The unit is tasked with assisting the police with locating missing people, searching for explosives and contraband, as well as finding evidence in crime scenes. Due to the relatively low crime rate in Enfield that does not require a K-9 Unit frequently, the Division is given extra tasks related to public relations activities. They do live demonstrations to the public, if requested by a school or public institution.
The Records Division is the most service-oriented division of the EPD, handling direct communication from residents pertaining to the following:
- Anonymous Tips – residents of Enfield can contact the EPD if they have any information that will aid in the resolution of a case. In order to protect the callers, all conversation is deemed confidential and the callers are not required to provide identification. Communication can be done through phone or through e-mail.
- Community Surveys – the EPD conducts community surveys. It ensures that they are providing police services in line with the expectations of the community while remaining compliant with the ethical and constitutional requirements set by the state.
- Citizen Complaints – the Records Division receives civilian complaints sent through mail or filed in person, and coordinates with the Internal Affairs Authority for the resolution of the complaints and the provision of security for the complainants, if needed.
- Public Works Problems – in cases where a municipal-owned facility requires attention or repairs, residents can call the Records Division. The complaints will be forwarded to the concerned agency from the Department of Public Works.
- Threat Advisory – in the very rare cases where there is a threat to security or an emergency, the Records Division coordinates with all pertinent departments and agencies in order to issue announcements and warnings to the residents of Enfield.
The Detective Bureau employs plain clothes detectives responsible for all investigative activities. This division handles all felony-related matters and cases that require complex follow-up inquiries.
The Detective Bureau has jurisdiction over cases that fall under Part A Category crimes. Crimes that are not part of this category but involve dangerous individuals and sensitive matters are also handled by the Detective Bureau.
Public Perception and Feedback on the EPD
A cursory check of the Enfield Police Department’s social media profile reveals that the EPD enforces the law without overstepping its boundaries. The reviews on the page include feedback from individuals who still admit to having pleasant dealings with the officers, despite being arrested or charged with misdemeanors. The EPD’s representatives are also active in responding to comments politely.
The comments on the Facebook page lean more towards the positive, and give readers the impression that the department is very friendly to residents. The residents themselves seem to know the officers, sometimes on a first name basis.
The Enfield Department of Correction
The other arm of the Enfield Justice System is the Enfield Department of Correction. In spite of the exceptional performance of the EPD, it is not realistic to expect that all cases will result in no one getting harmed or going to jail. In these worst case scenarios, the town has its own correctional facilities for sentenced offenders.
Situated in 289 Shaker Road, the Enfield Correctional Institution is a level 3 medium security correctional facility staffed by more than 200 people. In line with Enfield’s more community-facing initiatives, the ECI runs programs that prioritize rehabilitation instead of punishment:
- Addressing Substance Abuse Problems – the ECI partners with government agencies and medical facilities in order to provide help to sentenced offenders struggling with substance abuse.
- Parenting Programs – state agencies and the community are also asked for help in programs that cover child development for inmates with dependents, providing assistance and parenting education.
- Vocational Instruction – inmates are expected and encouraged to rejoin society as contributing individuals after serving their sentence, so those that are under educated or have outdated skillsets are provided with training and vocational instruction. Employment recommendations are also provided if available.
- Prisoner Outreach Programs – the ECI aims to be more progressive in its approach towards crime, so instead of focusing solely on incarceration of criminals, it also holds regular outreach programs with at-risk youths.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
Enfield’s Justice System is under the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch, which like most legal institutions in the developed world work under the principle of presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But similarly to the rest of the country, a person must be held in custody while the prosecution is ongoing. The bail system in the United States will vary from state to state, but an accused in Enfield is entitled to this system and can consult Enfield bail bondsman. He or she can legally avoid jailtime while waiting for the proceedings to conclude by paying bail.