Boston mayor: City police don’t need long guns

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he disagrees with city police unions that officers need long guns, and he was taken aback by the unions’ demands for new equipment.

Walsh said on Friday that “there’s absolutely no need” for officers to have long guns.

The presidents of the three unions representing city police sent a letter demanding long guns, larger ammunition magazines, helmets and other equipment, citing the killings of officers worldwide. The letter was sent to Police Commissioner William Evans, who says he’s considering the requests and officers’ safety is among his top concerns.

Leaders of community groups including the Boston NAACP say officers need to be safe, but they worry that having long military-style guns would harm community policing efforts and increase tensions.