Cambridge City
MA

Policy Order
POR 2020 #178

The City Manager look into transferring primary traffic enforcement responsibilities from the Cambridge Police Department to unarmed, trained enforcement personnel in the Traffic & Parking Department, Department of Public Works, Health & Human Services, or another suitable department

Information

Department:City Clerk's OfficeSponsors:Councillor Quinton Zondervan, Councillor Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler
Category:Policy Order

Attachments

  1. Printout

Body

WHEREAS:

Routine traffic stops disproportionately impact Black and Brown drivers, who are pulled over and searched more often than white drivers, leading to potentially stressful interactions with the police; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

This racist outcome is not the result of biases by individual officers, although those may play a role, but rather is primarily the result of systemic biases, including over-policing in Black neighborhoods, and training of police officers to be hypervigilant and to expect violent resistance, despite such incidents being very rare; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The presence of an armed police officer during a routine traffic stop raises the tension of the encounter unnecessarily and can itself lead to conflict, causing harmful stress to both parties and damaging the relationship between police and the community; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

Routine traffic enforcement can be conducted by unarmed employees of the city, which would reduce the possibility of violence during such encounters; and

 

 

WHEREAS:

The police would still be responsible for apprehending known criminals, dangerous or erratic drivers, and other related situations that clearly go beyond routine traffic enforcement; now therefore be it

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Manager look into transferring primary traffic enforcement responsibilities from the Cambridge Police Department to unarmed, trained enforcement personnel in the Traffic & Parking Department, Department of Public Works, Health & Human Services, or another suitable department; and be it further

 

 

ORDERED:

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter as soon as possible.

 

Meeting History

Jul 27, 2020 5:30 PM Video City Council Special Meeting
draft Draft

by Vice Mayor Mallon

RESULT:CHARTER RIGHTNext: 9/14/2020 5:30 PM
Sep 14, 2020 5:30 PM Video City Council Regular Meeting
draft Draft

Referred to public safety committee

RESULT:REFERRED TO COMMITTEE [8 TO 1]
YEAS:Dennis J. Carlone, Patricia Nolan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler, Alanna Mallon, Marc C. McGovern, Sumbul Siddiqui, E. Denise Simmons, Quinton Zondervan
NAYS:Timothy J. Toomey
Oct 14, 2020 10:00 AM Video Public Safety Committee Committee Meeting