State House News Service
The state’s largest police union is asking all 4,300 of its uniformed officers and members of the public to support the 66 House legislators who voted against a sweeping policing reform bill that the union said would put police and the public at risk.
The Massachusetts Coalition of Police, which has members in 157 cities and towns, called it “admirable” and evidence of a “strong intellect” to recognize the problems in the bill and want to slow down the process to study them more closely.
“It takes a strong sense of right and wrong to resist the pressure some people are putting on these legislators,” the union, led by President Scott Hovsepian, said in a statement.
MassCOP said the union was asking all its members and the public to support the House legislators who voted no, “especially those with challengers in November.” The opposition bloc included all 31 House Republicans and 35 Democrats. The union did not specify what about the bill concerned them, but has been critical of attempts to weaken qualified immunity protections from civil lawsuits for police.
“Our union has been strongly supportive of responsible police reform, and we have attempted to focus the Legislature on substantive changes that can be implemented immediately. We have also pointed to issues that need more thorough study and debate in order to be fairly and safely administered,” the MassCOP statement said.
The lawmakers who voted against the bill last week after three days of debate “recognized that there are a number of proposals in these bills that will endanger not only police officers, but the public as well,” the union said.