By Rick Pedrini
President, Arlington Police Ranking Officers Association
Executive Board, Massachusetts Police Association
Dear Globe Editorial Staff,
Once again, our soon to be ex-governor has felt the need to weigh in on his favorite target, the cops. As usual, Governor Patrick never misses an opportunity to go after the police when it fits his political narrative. In this case, the tragic events that have taken place in Ferguson, Missouri have raised his ire.
As a former DOJ attorney in the Civil Rights Division, Governor Patrick should know that whatever the circumstances, the officer involved in the Mike Brown case is entitled to due process and a presumption of innocence. As a US citizen (citizenship is a job requirement...for now), the officer is entitled to all applicable rights under the Constitution.
I don't claim to know what happened in Ferguson. What I do know is that my colleagues and I are not going to work each shift looking to shoot anyone. Period. I consider myself fortunate to have relationships with cops from Holyoke and Springfield to Southeastern Mass and the Cape. From Lowell and Lawrence to the Greater Boston area. I know for an absolute fact that none of these officers are going to work each day to shoot "unarmed black men". What they are looking to do is go to work each day, make their communities better places to live and work, and return home safely to their families.
Since the tragic events in Ferguson, pundits from both the left and right are calling for the "de-militarization" of the police. As a line police supervisor, I can assure you that municipal police departments are not "militarized". Do we have specialized units and specialized equipment that can be used in unique situations? Of course, but the average line patrol officer is not a soldier; nor does he or she have that mindset.