My take on the so-called "Police Reform Bill" passed by the House on Friday July 24.
As I've ventured out into the neighborhoods of Danvers, Middleton, and West Peabody these past couple of weeks, I've spoken to many current and retired law enforcement personnel who understand, as I do, that in addition to the much publicized issues with the "qualified immunity" and other provisions contained in this knee-jerk legislation will make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs effectively. The Police Reform Bill has many unintended consequences that apparently were never considered by a majority of the State Representatives in the House. One retired police officer told me last week that he's already spoken to many of his colleagues still on active duty. They're vested and intend to retire if the legislation passes and becomes law. These are experienced, highly trained, hard working men and women that have dedicated themselves to public service. They put on a uniform every day and go to work to serve and protect their communities, often having to make life or death decisions with imperfect information in fractions of a second. In addition, a more recently retired police officer told me another unintended consequence is that highly qualified candidates in law enforcement will look for opportunities in other fields. Hard to blame them given the current attitude toward the law enforcement community. Not having a fully staffed police presence available makes our neighborhoods less safe - period, and I wonder if these "unintended consequences" would have come to light if our representatives at the state house would have simply taken the time to hold hearings on the bill with members of our law enforcement community - one of the most highly-regarded in the country. Let me be perfectly clear on this issue. I fully support our law enforcement community. As your state representative, I would have joined the growing number of thoughtful conservative voices on Beacon Hill and voted NO on H4860. Respectfully Robert May 13th Essex District State Representative Candidate