Newton Police Association sues city over use of auxiliary officers during President’s visit

The Newton police officer’s union has sued the city in Middlesex Superior Court seeking an injunction which would prevent the city from using auxiliary officers in ways opposed to city ordinances.

According to the suit, the union believes that Chief Matthew Cummings wrongfully allowed volunteer auxiliary officers to provide security during President Obama’s visit to the city in October. The union contends that the auxiliary officers are not properly trained to handle an event like the President’s visit.

In an article on Boston.com John M. Daly, president of the Newton Police Association, stated that the police department should have paid for more officers to provide security during Obama’s visit. According to Daley, the auxiliary officers were not qualified to respond if there had been a security threat.

“They’re not psychologically screened,” he told Boston.com. “They’re not properly trained and they’re not armed.”

From Boston.com: “The city’s general order authorizing the use of auxiliary officers makes clear that they do not have police powers and cannot make arrests, issue citations, or stop motor vehicles. But the union and the police department disagree on how much responsibility the auxiliary officers can have — and how to interpret city guidelines — in traffic control.

“The general order allowing the auxiliary officers says they can “assist with traffic control at parades, road races, accidents.” But elsewhere, in the city code on traffic, the aldermen wrote that only sworn officers can direct traffic.”

About Attorney John J. MacLaughlan

John MacLaughlan is Massachusetts licensed attorney as well as a Boston police officer. John is currently assigned to the Youth Violence Strike Force (Gang Unit). He is a graduate of the Massachusetts School of Law with a concentration in Labor Law. He holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell as well as a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. John has taught Defensive Tactics, Firearms, Use of Force, Applied Patrol Procedures, and Police Response to Active Shooters to sworn police officers and police academy recruits. Prior to becoming a Boston Police Officer, John served for 9 years as a police officer in Lowell, where he was a member of the Police Dive Team and Patrol Rifle Team.
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