Police Reform Bill Threatens Student Safety [OPINION]
The radical left is about to do significant harm to the ability of police departments in the Commonwealth to protect and serve citizens.
The Massachusetts Senate is set to vote Thursday on a reactionary police reform bill that would severely weaken the ability of our police to do their job while placing students across the Commonwealth at considerable risk.
State House News Service says the bill would "create a process for certifying and de-certifying officers and impose new limits on the use of force, including a ban on chokeholds and restrictions on the use of tear gas." SHNS says the bill "temporarily bans the use of facial recognition technology in Massachusetts, officially prohibits racial profiling, and includes language aimed at expanding access to expungement for young adult offenses."
But that's not all. The legislation would also "strike the requirement that police officers be present in schools, leaving the decision instead to a superintendent's discretion." When budgets are tight, as they always are, what priority do you think will be given to funding police resource officers?
Imagine, just a year ago we were arguing about finding more money to increase policing in our schools to guard against school shooters.
But that's not all. The bill would make it tougher for police to investigate gang activity in school by prohibiting school districts from sharing students' personal information with police departments for gang databases.
In addition, the SHNS says "the bill would allow police officers to be held civilly liable for excessive use of force, require 'transparency and civilian authorization for military equipment acquisition' by a police department, and require the collection of racial and other data when pedestrians or cars are stopped."
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston) told a news conference on Monday, "Today's bill represents the first step in rethinking what public safety should look like. It prioritizes de-escalation, prevention and care, and rejects – anywhere that it exists – a culture of aggressive force and impunity in law enforcement, and it begins to transfer power to the community."
Senator Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) told the same news conference, "This is a comprehensive racial equity bill designed to increase accountability, shift the roles of law-enforcement away from surveillance and punishment, and begin to dismantle systemic racism."
The radical left is playing with fire and is threatening the safety of every Massachusetts citizen. This police reform legislation should be rejected but unfortunately, our elected representatives lack the courage to stand up to the mob. In fact, many of them are a part of the mob.
Is it any wonder why the sale of weapons continues to set records?
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.