Massachusetts lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal for police officers to curse at the public. YNN's Madeleine Rivera has more on what residents and police officers think about this proposed law.
ADAMS, Mass. -- It has tongues wagging.
"I can't believe it's not a law already. I should assume they shouldn't be cursing at the public," said Jennifer Segala, a Cheshire resident.
But Massachusetts State Representative Benjamin Swan says police officers occasionally do have a slip of the tongue. That's where this bill in comes in. If it passes, swearing at the public could cost a police officer his job.
"I think most of the professionals are trained to act in a certain way already and that cursing is not a part of their daily speech. For the few that might, I hope it curbs them," said Segala.
According to this bill, police officers should not use any term to demean the public, the very people officers have sworn to protect. So name calling or racial slurs can all be grounds for getting fired. But Adams resident Lew Sweener thinks the proposed law is a little over the top.
"Freedom of speech, everything else, you can do nothing else in this country. They're taking everything away from everybody," said Sweener.
Police departments have their own set of rules. And at the Adams Police Department, there isn't a rule that prevents swearing specifically. But each situation will be handled on a case by case basis.
"There's nothing specifically aimed at cursing. So it would fall if anything under conduct unbecoming," said Adams Police Chief Richard Tarsa.
Swan says the law is supposed to contribute to good policing. Still, is it necessary?
"I really think our professionals are good at what they do," said Segala.
"I don't even see a need for such a law. And I honestly think pursuing such a law is a waste of time," said Tarsa.
Swan says this isn't the first time he's filed the bill. He says he's filed it for at least 16 years and it's hasn't passed.