Mass. lawmakers propose firing police officers who use curse words

Oct. 3, 2013 at 4:20 PM
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BOSTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Massachusetts lawmakers have proposed a bill that could see police officers fired if they use offensive language.

The bill, dubbed "An act to prohibit inappropriate language use by sworn law officers," was brought before a state House committee Thursday by state Rep. Benjamin Swan, D-Springfield, the Boston Herald reported.

Under the proposed law, police officers who use profanity or "name-calling" could be fired.

"These folks, they're public servants. It's unprofessional and beneath the dignity of any public servant to use that language toward the people they're representing," said state Rep. Paul Heroux, D-Attleboro, one of the bill's co-sponsors. "I think this bill is reinforcing good police practice."

Police officers, however, have taken offense to the bill.

"Take a model officer, a 10-year veteran. One arrest and he drops an 'F' bomb. And we're going to fire him? I think that's over the top," said Everett Police Chief Steven Mazzie, president of the Major City Chiefs. "Police departments wouldn't tolerate any of that behavior anyway. But I think it's extremely difficult to legislate civility."

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