NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – City leaders in Northampton said they’re confident in how the police department trains officers in the use of force.
In 2013, a Northampton Police Officer allegedly pepper sprayed a man and threw him to the ground outside a now closed Tully O’Reilly’s bar. The man claimed “excessive force.” So the City Council asked the police to present their procedures on the escalation of force.
The presentation had nothing to do with recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri or Staten Island, New York, but the police said they do not use chokeholds and do not carry tasers. Instead, they carry O.C. or pepper spray, and regularly train officers on proper response to difficult situations.
According to City Council President Bill Dwight, “We had asked that the police department explain their protocols relative to the escalation of force and it was more to go and reassure the councilors, and by extension the community, that our police department is not like things that we’ve seen play out in the rest of the country.”
Dwight told 22News officers deal with difficult situations, like Northampton’s First Night, when the city’s population can double.