HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – An attempted traffic stop in Holyoke last Friday led to an hours-long manhunt and left a state trooper injured. This incident shows how dangerous routine police practices can be.
Though the suspect in Friday’s incident has been arrested and the officer is okay, traffic stops can easily go the other way. That’s why officer training is so vital.
An attempted stop in Holyoke Friday turned violent, when suspect Michael J. Williams Jr. allegedly sped away, hitting and dragging a State Trooper on I-91. It was the second time this month a trooper was dragged in a traffic stop, happening just one week before in the city of Brockton.
According to data from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 31 officers were killed in traffic-related incidents in the first half of 2022. In the first half of this year, 11 officers lost their lives during traffic stops.
“It’s right up there, it’s one of our most dangerous calls and that’s how Springfield lost two of our officers,” said Springfield Police Superintendent Cheryl Clapprood. She says police departments prioritize training in an effort to keep officers safe, “Reminding them how to pull a car over, how to broadcast it, how to give a description, where to position your cruiser, how to turn your tires so you don’t get hit when somebody smashes into the cruiser, how to call for back-up.”
“They have a job to do and safety is the first priority for them, so anytime I get pulled over I make sure I’m doing everything correctly,” said Alex McDaneld of Chicopee.
Williams is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Holyoke District Court on multiple charges.