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Mass. police departments’ progressive efforts not to be overlooked

Cambridge Police Officer Manny Gomes bumped elbows with Gladys Delgado while patrolling Central Square in Cambridge on Christmas Day in 2021.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

Last week’s article on police reforms remaining elusive after George Floyd’s murder overlooked the committed work being led by many progressive police departments throughout the Commonwealth (“Even in liberal suburbs, police reform is slow to be adopted,” Page A1, Sept. 29). Indeed, Norwood Police Chief William G. Brooks III is pictured on the cover of the latest edition of the monthly magazine of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, with its headline “The Future of Policing.”

Massachusetts has been, and remains, at the forefront of police reform. For example, the Cambridge Police Department has been at the vanguard of developing critical programs, such as the Safety Net collaborative and trauma-informed training, that have become integral to policing around the country. Our officers now routinely serve as national instructors.


Furthermore, to supplement our dedicated sworn staff, the department has been a model for integrating civilians into critical roles, including licensed social workers, a child psychologist, and director of professional standards.

Finally, agencies across the country have requested to learn more about the department’s unique case-management approach to vulnerable residents, which ensures support and connections to services as opposed to criminal justice system outcomes for people who are unhoused or struggling with substance use disorder.

While reform efforts are adopted around the country, many police officials and departments in the Commonwealth are leading the profession and their communities forward with 21st-century policing.

Jeremy Warnick

Director of communications

Cambridge Police Department