Holyoke mayor announces formation of Civilian Review Committee, police policy changes

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and the city’s police chief have updated the police department’s policies and are looking to create a Civilian Review Committee.

A new day for policing throughout America is beginning with departments reviewing their existing policies. In Holyoke, Mayor Morse and Police Chief Manny Febo, updated the police department’s policies in the wake of the death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Holyoke resident’s such as Gabriel Sanchez told 22News that while he was greatly upset about the death of George Floyd, he said that Holyoke police officers aren’t like those responsible for the killing Floyd.

“They’re great in my opinion. I’ve never had a problem with those cops in Holyoke. I don’t think Holyoke is like the other cities,” said Sanchez.

Mayor Morse is also forming a Civilian Review Committee to review the city’s policing policies and provide feedback and policy recommendations to the Mayor, the Chief of Police, and the City Council in the event of necessary ordinance changes.

Sanchez added that the review of the policing policies in Holyoke was the right move.

“Perfect. Perfect. You know why? Because there needs some change, there needs some change,” Sanchez continued.

Mayor Morse also signed the Obama Foundation’s “Mayor’s Pledge” which means committing to seeking feedback from the community after reviewing the police department’s use of force policies.

In Massachusetts, police training already bans the use of choke-holds as well as knees to the back of the neck. Holyoke residents interested in joining the civilian review board can find out how at the city of Holyoke’s official website.

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