Beacon Hill lawmakers face intense opposition from one of the state's largest law enforcement associations as they work to quickly complete sweeping police reform legislation.
Leaders of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association slammed both the House and Senate versions of the bills on Tuesday, arguing the bills are advancing too quickly and without sufficient input from police.
Hampden Police Chief Jeff Farnsworth, who serves as the association's president, said at a Tuesday press conference that the legislation is "nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to the events happening hundreds of miles away from here."
"These bills are not a response to any current situation in Massachusetts," Farnsworth said. "These bills are being used to make a political statement. They do not address issues in Massachusetts. If the Legislature believes that there are these types of issues in Massachusetts, they need to reach out to their law enforcement leaders and point them out to us and discuss them with us to come to some type of equitable bill that will address both the safety of our residents and any perceived issues."
The House plans to take up its bill Wednesday and debate could spill over into Thursday. Last week, the Senate approved its version after a marathon 16-hour session.