Mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh is shooting down the plan to arm some Boston patrol officers with military-style rifles — setting up a potential showdown with the department which has backed the controversial measure, citing a need for high-powered weapons in light of school shootings and the marathon bombings.
“Mayor-elect Walsh is opposed to the AR-15 rifles,” his spokeswoman Kathryn Norton said in a short statement yesterday. “Unless otherwise convinced by the Boston Police Department, he does not think they are necessary.”
Walsh would have to approve a budget for 33 AR-15 rifles at a cost of $2,500 each. Police were in the planning phases of acquiring the rifles to put in the cruisers of two specially trained beat cops in each of the city’s 11 districts.
Boston police spokesman Sgt. Mike McCarthy had said the plan to buy the guns and arm officers was in the works before the marathon bombings and was motivated by a nationwide surge in massacres such as the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., when suspects are still armed and shooting. The use of the weapons, he said, would be strictly regulated and would not be used during routine patrol. Use of the weapons could include an active-shooter incident, firing on a suspect from a distance and confronting a suspect wearing body armor.
Source: Police One