Massachusetts police chief on board with improving training standards: 'We can be better'

The president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association  told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday that chiefs across the state “absolutely” support the push to change their training and use of force policies.

Jeff Farnsworth, chief of the Hampden Police Department, made the statement reacting to a Massachusetts auditor calling for a new training system for police.

“Massachusetts requires licensure for over 50 other trades and professions, such as barbers, plumbers, electricians and doctors, but doesn't require it for police officers,” according to the state auditor.

When asked why he supports the change, Farnsworth said “it just makes a lot of sense.”

“We have a very disparate system right now between one training branch and a civil service program that reinstates officers at times,” he explained. “We need to bring everything under one roof, be able to push out some excellent training.”

He pointed out that “we do good training now, but we can be better and we know we can.”

The calls for changes to police training and use of force policies have mounted since the death of George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody after a white police officer was seen on video kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Floyd’s death sparked outrage across the nation – and sympathy around the globe – as African-Americans and others argued it continued a long history of police mistreatment against minorities.

GEORGE FLOYD'S FUNERAL IN PHOTOS

Floyd’s death last month and a series of riots that followed in cities across the nation have set the backdrop for a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday on police reform proposals.

Farnsworth noted on Wednesday that Massachusetts police chiefs have been supporting and pushing changes to their training for “a few years,” adding that “excellent” meetings have been taking place “trying to move this forward.”

Host Ainsley Earhardt asked Farnsworth what he would change specifically, especially after he “watched what happened to George Floyd?”

In response, Farnsworth said that in Massachusetts “that's not something that we condone in any way, shape, or form and we don't train that way.”

He went on to say that under the new model “we would pull everybody under one roof, there would be tracking of constant hours and recertification and the ability to decertify should a police officer be removed from one department, they would lose the ability to go to work to another department.”

“Right now we have chiefs that have to deal with that on a regular basis, that an officer leaves one agency and can try to be employed by another agency,” he explained. “So, it is time to really move forward and embrace the new model.”

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On Tuesday, sources told Fox News that President Trump will soon have a list of police reform proposals that can be accomplished through a combination of executive and legislative action — and that effort could have some crossover with Democratic proposals.