I read with disgust your story about a member of the Gardner Police Department using the power of the badge to score cheap political points. As a longtime resident and an individual who works in politics, that behavior is unacceptable and terrifying.
Americans should have spirited and even heated political debates. And in a perfect world, we can then fire up the barbecue and act like friends and neighbors. But that’s not what occurred last week.
Instead, an off-duty police officer called in a noise complaint against a group of middle aged women. It appears he made the call because two of those women are politically active in the community.
A law enforcement calling uniformed officers over a gaggle of old ladies with a boom box at a swimming pool reveals the officer’s stunning inability to reasonably diffuse a situation. Most people would simply walk next door and ask them to turn the music down. That this off-duty police officer decided to call police and then make demeaning comments on Facebook about those women shows a stunning lack of judgment.
Our city manager is a former police chief, and most of our council members boast about their affinity for law and order. Swatting can result in deadly consequences, and our city leadership needs to swiftly denounce this behavior and assure Gardner residents that our law enforcement agency doesn’t use the authority of law to make political points.