Boston Police unions call for better protection, weapons

BOSTON (WHDH) - Boston Police unions are calling for better protective gear and weapons, saying it is necessary in the wake of violence against police nationwide.

The heads of Boston’s police unions wrote a letter to Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans, saying not enough is being done to protect officers. In the letter, leaders from three local police unions said more officers and equipment like ballistic helmets are needed.

“We have requested ‘Long Guns’ for our patrol officers. We now DEMAND IT!” reads the letter in part. “It is a very new, very hostile environment that we live in and it is a requirement that to be able to quickly ‘neutralize a threat,’ we require ‘Long Guns.’ The need is neceesary and the need is now.”

The Boston Police Patrolman’s Association also tweeted out a picture of officers and children with the caption, “Who needs police gear? We have Hoodsies!!!” in response to the department’s new ice cream truck that Evans said is meant to help with community engagement. Evans acknowledged that there is a concern about the safety of police officers but believes the letter from the unions was too much.

“Sometimes their rhetoric can get heated and it is what it is,” said Evans. “It’s a hard time to be a police officer right now and I think everybody sometimes feels under-appreciated and under attack and I think he’s speaking from the heart…but it’s a hard time to be a police officer, so I know where he’s coming from.”

Boston Police said they are reviewing everything within the department and are deciding whether changes need to be made.

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