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Mass. and Conn. Mayors Sign Obama Foundation Pledge On Police Policies

Some mayors in Massachusetts and Connecticut said they have signed a pledge on the use of force by police in their cities.

The pledge comes from the Obama Foundation. It asks mayors to promise to review their police department policies and make reforms after getting feedback from the community.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin signed the pledge last week, even though he said he believes his city has one of the most progressive use-of-force policies in the nation.

"It's really important to make sure that we are looking at it closely — that we are looking ourselves in the mirror and that we are asking our community and stakeholders and a broad range of stakeholders for their input and their feedback," Bronin said.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a press release announcing he'd also signed the pledge and claiming many of the suggested reforms are already in place.

Roxann Wedegartner, the mayor of Greenfield, Massachusetts, said she recently heard from several constituents who asked her to sign the pledge. She said she plans to.

Wedegartner also said the city’s public safety commission will be reviewing policies on the use of force by police.

"I want them to hold a meeting to have that as their only item on the agenda...to review it and also hear from the public about our use-of-force policies," she said.

Wedegartner said she's asked the chief of police to send her the current policies. She took office in January and said she hasn't seen them yet. But she said chokeholds haven't been allowed in Greenfield for years. 

The mayors of Holyoke, Massachusetts, and Bridgeport, Connecticut, have signed the pledge as well. 

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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