- The Washington Times - Friday, October 4, 2013

A Massachusetts lawmaker said police officers are public servants who should act with dignity and show respect on the job, and that’s why he is bringing forth a bill that would punish and perhaps fire those who curse while on the clock.

The bill, touted as “An Act to prohibit inappropriate language use by sworn law officers,” was introduced this week by Springfield Democrat Benjamin Swan, Fox News reported. The text calls for reprimands that range from written warnings to fines to firings for officers who swear or use racial slurs at work.

Bill co-sponsor Paul Heroux said to the Boston Herald: “These folks, they’re public servants. It’s unprofessional and beneath the dignity of any public servant to use that language toward the people they’re representing. I think this bill is reinforcing good police practice.”

Mr. Swan said police regularly use the “N-word” while at work, and his bill would make that a punishable offense.

Police unions aren’t happy.

“Certainly we can’t have them speaking proper English at all times while working with gangs,” said Wayne Sampson, executive director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, in The Associated Press. “We feel this is a very aggressive remedy for a situation that may not be as severe as projected here.” He also called the proposal a piece of “radical legislation” that would be difficult to enforce.

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