In a time of immense pain, the police chief in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, began calling for increased training after one of his officers was shot and killed in April.
The answer came Wednesday in the form of a vote in the House of Representatives to increase funding for police training. The bill passed 144-4, with four Republicans — Shaunna O'Connell, Geoff Diehl, Marc Lombardo and Jim Lyons — dissenting.
Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson said Wednesday that the death of his officer, Sgt. Sean Gannon, and more recently, the death of Sgt. Michael Chesna in Weymouth, shows that more training is needed — and fast.
"We need to step our game and make sure that our officers get the training that they need," he said.
The legislation calls for up to $10 million in annual revenue, funded by a $2 fee on all car rentals.
"It is going to do an awful lot to improve the ability for us to train our officers that are out there every day, doing the jobs that we are asked to do, that we need to do to keep our citizens safe," he said.
Frederickson says the money will go towards increased SWAT and mental health training, forensics and interview interrogation.
"It makes it feel like our legislature finally is caring about us, as police officers, the ones that get called to do all of the things that we have to do," he said.
Frederickson and other police chiefs have also been calling for changes to the state's judicial system.
This is not a done deal yet. The bill will now head to Gov. Charlie Baker's desk to be signed. All indications are that he will.