Marty Walsh not confirming if he plans to approve plan to arm police with rifles


BOSTON ( – Mayor-elect Marty Walsh is facing a big decision already: should he approve the Boston Police Department's plan to arm some officers with rifles?

Walsh would not confirm if he plans to approve the plan, which is to buy 33 AR-15 rifles to put in cruisers of two trained beat cops in all 11 districts in the city. The rifles cost $2,500 each.

Boston area resident Kathy Sears backs the plan.

"If the bad guys have them, I think we need to be well-equipped. The police need to be well-equipped. It's unfortunate, but it's a reality today," she said.

Boston police say the plan comes after the increase in nationwide massacres including the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Officers would only use the rifles for active-shooter attacks, suspects wearing body armor and far-away targets.

City Councilor Charles Yancey is not for the plan and said active-shooter incidents are better left to specialized SWAT team units and the use of assault rifles actually put the public in more danger.

"I don't believe arming them with assault weapons is going to make them any safer," he said.

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