Police departments that stopped the most drivers in Connecticut

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Newtown and Ridgefield police pulled over the most drivers per officer compared to other towns with departments in Connecticut.

State troopers stopped the most commuters in the state with more than a third of all incidents between October 2013 and September 2014. They divide the state into 11 districts and patrol its major highways and also serve as local police for many rural towns.

Last time we looked at traffic-stop data from the state Office of Policy and Management, we noticed May and September were the most stop-heavy, and officers tended to pull over more drivers during the last week of the month. This time we wanted to see which departments were most active.

But Newtown and Ridgefield are individual departments in relatively small towns, with populations of around 25,000 and police staff of around 40.

Newtown police pulled over about 204 vehicles per officer. Ridgefield police stopped about 184.

By contrast, Hartford has the second-most number of sworn officers at 478 but has stopped only 8,254 drivers. That’s 17 stops per cop — about one-tenth the number per worker for Newtown and Ridgefield.

On the other end of the spectrum, the data shows Stamford as having the least-active traffic enforcers when it comes to stops. Stamford police only pulled over 760 drivers between October 2013 and September 2013. So with 269 officers, that’s less than than three stops each. Or two stops a day.

But that almost certainly can be explained by incomplete data from Stamford, which did not provide information on thousands of traffic stops because of technical issues.

If you get pulled over in Newton, you’re most likely to be stopped for speeding or for a defective light on your vehicle. Their most-common day of the week to stop drivers? Mondays. Most-common time? 2 a.m.

In Ridgefield, drivers are most often cited for speeding and failing to obey a traffic signal.

Meanwhile, a handful of departments like Danbury and Farmington have been most vigilant enforcing laws on driving while using a cell phone.

And you better have your registration up-to-date in West Hartford and Branford, because police in those towns pull over people with expired tags most often.

Visit the TrendCT Github page to play with the data in the table above or to go over our analysis.

Note: A previous version of this story referred to traffic stops as traffic tickets. Not all traffic stops resulted in a citation.

What do you think?

  • Orville Reddenbecker

    Have you witnessed the way people drive in this state? Police should be handing out way ore tickets! The number of people who run red lights is ridiculous! (Yes the light was yellow when you mashed the gas, but if the light is red at any time you’re in the intersection, you just ran a red light) This single act could kill someone… for a few extra seconds at work? Why? And speed limits? Ha! Add 10 mph on city streets and 15 mph on the highway to whatever is posted and that is the average speed. We need not complain about how “harsh” police are in handing out tickets… they should be handing out more!

  • Colindapieman

    Wouldn’t it be more effective to do tickets per person? I think your data is skewed towards more populus cities

    • Andrew Ba Tran

      I’m working on a follow-up that includes tickets-per-population. Newtown and Ridgefield are definitely still up there.

  • chris

    This article needs to go one step further and I believe it will find a bombshell. It should analyze the locations of traffic stops in the towns bordering our largest cities.

  • 00000000001

    It’s ironic that the town with the biggest school massacre is also the town with the most ticket writing. This should make it’s residents feel safer?