BOSTON – The Boston Police Department wants to arm neighborhood patrol officers with high-powered military assault weapons, but the mayor doesn't think it's such a good idea.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino said Friday he will not approve a police department plan to put semiautomatic M-16 rifles in the hands of regular patrol officers. But Menino says he's open to giving them to "specialized units."
The police recently obtained 200 M-16s free of charge from the U.S. military and had planned to give them to dozens of officers for their patrols after training them to use the rifles.
However, some community leaders criticized the lack of public notice and questioned the reasoning behind arming district officers with M-16s when the city's SWAT team already has such weapons.