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Massachusetts city considering city workers to replace police for routine traffic stops

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Photo courtesy of Cambridge Police

Two Cambridge city councilors have proposed letting city employees respond to routine traffic stops instead of the police department.

According to a Cambridge policy order first reported on by CBS Boston, the presence of an armed police officer during a routine traffic stop raises the tension unnecessarily and can itself lead to conflict, causing harmful stress to both parties and damaging the relationship between police and the community.

Councilor Quinton Zondervan and Councilor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler are sponsors of the order.

The order goes on to state that routine traffic stops disproportionately impact Black and Brown drivers, who are pulled over and searched more often than white drivers, leading to potentially stressful interactions with the police.

The two councilors believe that routine traffic enforcement can be conducted by unarmed employees of the city, which would reduce the possibility of violence during the traffic stop.

The police would still be responsible for apprehending known criminals, dangerous or erratic drivers, and other related situations that go beyond routine traffic enforcement.

The councilors are asking that the city manager look into the matter and report back to the city council as soon as possible.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jake Perry

    July 30, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Councilor Quinton Zondervan and Councilor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler are what’s wrong with our country today.

  2. Nick

    July 30, 2020 at 11:14 am

    What happens when someone has a weapon during a routine traffic stop and this city worker is helpless to defend himself

    • Paul

      July 30, 2020 at 5:52 pm

      Looking forward to reading about that….or that a city employee thinks he or she is a tough guy and ends up getting a beat down

  3. Keith

    July 30, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    hahahahahahahaha because someone who will not hesitate to shoot a cop will think twice about shooting a city worker. Good luck with that one.

  4. Barry Allen

    July 30, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    If the higher percentages of black and browns (as the article reads) did not do so much crime the police they would not be searching so often. The reason they are searched is that they act nervous and have something to hide in the car.

  5. Rick

    July 30, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. Just ask any LEO (law enforcement officer)

  6. Bob

    August 1, 2020 at 12:04 am

    So, the message is “city workers lives DON’T matter “

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