SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — A Springfield state representative files a bill that could get a police officer fired for using foul language or racial slurs.
Representative Benjamin Swan says sworn police officers should not use derogatory language when addressing citizens.
“If you take an oath to uphold the public safety, you have no reason to use foul language. You have no reason to abuse anybody verbally because of their race, gender, national origin, religion, whatever,” says Swan.
Representative Swan says this is not the first time he’s filing this bill, but this time around, he says it appears to be getting a lot more attention.
“I’ve had a lot of complaints and I’ve heard and I’ve witnessed misuse of language on the part of sworn officers,” Swan adds.
Springfield Police Commissioner Spokesperson Charlie Youmans says the commissioner is reviewing the bill. He says police have high standards to adhere to while on the force.
“Most police officers on this job are 210-percent professionals. They handle all situations, no matter how it comes back at them,” Youmans notes.
Mayor Domenic Sarno also weighed in on the bill, saying cops have a tough job but must maintain those high standards.
“I always want my police department to act brave and courageously, but always be very respectful in very difficult decisions,” says Sarno.
Meanwhile, the bill got a hearing Thursday before the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee on Beacon Hill.