The Justice Department has launched an investigation into the Worcester, Massachusetts Police Department to determine whether it has a pattern of excessive use of force or discriminatory policing based on race or sex, per the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts.
According to NBC Boston, the U.S. Attorney's Office confirmed Tuesday (November 15) that it will probe the department's policies, procedures, training, and other elements to see if there is a pattern of issues. The investigation will also dive into Worcester Police's existing systems of accountability, including how the department looks into misconduct allegations.
"Worcester police officers have a challenging job of ensuring the safety of the Worcester community. This often means responding to or encountering tense and at times dangerous conflicts and situations. I am well aware that the overwhelming majority of officers serve and do their jobs with honor, pride, restraint, and distinction," United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said in a media release.
Acting City Manager Eric Batista, Mayor Joseph Petty, and Police Chief Steven Sargent issued a joint statement Tuesday, saying that they plan to work "in full cooperation" with the Justice Department.
"The Worcester Police Department will continue to work with the state and federal partners on public safety initiatives to protect and serve our citizens," they said. "The City and Worcester Police Department collectively strive to deliver the highest quality of municipal services to residents and will continue to do so in a transparent and professional manner as the investigation takes its course."
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