The Hartford Courant
5:45 PM EST, December 24, 2013
Foot-dragging by the state police is unnecessarily impeding the progress of the governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
The commission faces a March deadline to come up with recommendations in response to the massacre at the Newtown elementary school over a year ago. To do that, the commission needs to know more about the killer. The state police should stop stalling and immediately release its full report on the crime — a report said to amount to thousands of pages.
Why it has taken so long to release the report is beyond rational explanation.
The 44-page summary recently released by the lead investigator, Danbury State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III, was insufficient. It left advisory commission members hungry for more information — especially concerning the mental health of the shooter, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who killed his mother at home and then 20 first-graders, six women and finally himself at the school.
The commission of 16 experts, appointed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, is supposed to review policies and make recommendations, "with particular attention paid to school safety, mental health and gun violence prevention."
But until last week, the commission had not had a meeting since August. It has been stymied by a lack of what its members consider good information about the shooter's mental health.
That lack of information puts the March deadline at risk.
"With regard to mental health issues, I have no idea what we would write," said commission member Dr. Hank Schwartz, psychiatrist-in-chief of the Institute of Living in Hartford. "To write a report now, with what we have, would almost be embarrassing."
The advisory commission doesn't know for certain how helpful the state police report will be. But it should be allowed to judge for itself.
The state police should also stop foot-dragging and release tapes of 911 cellphone calls about the shooting routed to it by Newtown police.
It seems Connecticut law enforcement would rather cover up what was done than learn from it.
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