READING, MASS. (WHDH) - A Reading selectman is apologizing for comments he made about police officers at a recent board meeting that caused some tense moments.

Officers got up and walked out of the meeting Tuesday night after Andrew Friedman said he felt intimidated by them and that feared for his safety should he choose the wrong candidate for the office of Chief of Police.

“I’m feeling pretty intimated by the police officers in this crowd. You laugh at that, you think it’s funny but I have to live in this town and all of you drive around with guns,” he said to the crowd at the meeting.

One day later, Friedman said, “I deeply regret my statement and recognize it was wrong. It was one of those comments, made in the heat of the moment, that I wish I could take back. In addition to the members of the Reading Police Department, I also wish to apologize to the residents of Reading.”

The department has been without a chief for more than a year.

Friedman said he understands their frustration with the long hiring process.

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