06/29/2000

Flap in Beantown over beanbags

In what has become a tumultuous affair, Boston Police Commissioner Paul Evans said recently that he will soon train supervisors in the use of a less-than-lethal weapon which fires small bags filled with pellets in preparation for introduction of the technology to the entire force. But not everyone thinks it?s a good idea. The most outspoken critic of Evans? plan is the president of the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, Captain William Broderick. ?He doesn?t feel he?s subject to the law, an angry Broderick told reporters recently. ?And he?s willing to place his supervisors as well as the public in danger.? Needless to say, Broderick is not a big fan of Evans, and says his organization will fight the proposal tooth and nail. In addition to the new weapon, Evans has also ruffled some feathers in the department by suggesting revisions in department policy which would restrict officers from firing on vehicles that are trying to run them down. Academy guidelines discourage officers from firing into vehicles coming at them, as the car may continue on a collision course in spite of what happens to the driver. Evans said he would rather see cops get out of the way and get the tags, only shooting as a last resort without other options. The commish also said he plans to use successful anti-gang tactics against heroin traffic in the city, which is at an all-time high.
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