Greenfield Police Department review their use of force policy

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A call for change is being heard in Greenfield. The local police department says it’s now reviewing its use of force policy.

The Greenfield Chief told 22News these aren’t necessarily changes to the policy itself, but they are taking steps to clarify the language.

“It’s a good idea to constantly review. Certainly we need to make sure what we’re doing well more importantly what we’re not doing is known,” said Chief Haigh Jr.

Protests demanding justice in the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor lead to a list of demands here at home.

Greenfield Chief Robert Haigh Jr. says the adjustments to the use of force policy is about putting words to the rules that were already in place for the police department, like how the department does not teach chokeholds.

“We’ve never taught people to kneel on the back of people’s necks. That’s not what we’ve ever done. We’ve never allowed it. Then, we said it, but now our policy says it,” said Haigh Jr.

Mayor Roxann Wedegartner says some of those demands have already been resolved. Including the city’s funding for student resource officers was removed back in May.

“It’s a shared cost between us and the school and we’ve removed our piece of it. Another demand, accountability,” said the mayor.

According to the Mayor, the city has a public safety commission along with the human rights commission to review complaints but she says she is open to a third citizen’s commission.

“I would want us to think carefully it’s role is visa vi the other two commissions that take complaints,” said Wedegartner.

And Chief Haigh Jr. said that the unions have said they’re on board with the proposed use of force policy adjustments. He says they should be put out to the public soon.

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