06/01/2009

Boston mayor says no to M-16 patrol units

By Michael Levenson and Donovan Slack
Boston Globe

BOSTON — Facing sharp criticism, Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday that he will not approve a Boston Police Department plan to arm neighborhood officers with semiautomatic rifles, although he expressed some support for their use by specialized units.

The police have obtained 200 M-16s free of charge from the US military and made plans to train dozens of officers and arm them with the rifles. A Globe story yesterday said police officials told union leaders months ago and again in recent weeks that they planned to issue the weapons to precinct patrol officers, as well as specialized units such as the bomb squad and harbor patrol.

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