For police, the use of force is one of the hardest things to get right. As the International Association of Chiefs of Police stresses, policies must “ensure that any use of force is carefully applied and objectively reasonable considering the situation confronted by the officers.” Politicians don’t help when they make blanket statements about getting tough on crime. Indeed, they make matters more difficult by undercutting trust with the community. That’s why it was important that the Boston Police Department made a statement on Saturday:
“The Boston Police Department’s priority has been and continues to be building relationships and trust with the community we serve. As a police department, we are committed to helping people, not harming them.”
Today, I contacted the Somerville Police Department and asked them to follow suit with a similar statement.