CAMBRIDGE, MASS. (WHDH) – The city of Cambridge has hired a consultant to conduct a third-party review of its police agency and policies, including a review of a shooting involving officers in January that killed a 20-year-old man.
The city and police announced Friday that they would invite the Washington, DC-based Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) for an independent review of Cambridge PD’s training and protocols.
“A recognized leader in the industry with more than 40 years of experience, PERF has served state, provincial and local police departments and sheriffs, as well as federal and international law enforcement agencies,” Cambridge PD said in an announcement. “Her broad experience includes evaluating law enforcement agencies to ensure they are employing the best and most progressive practices.”
The announcement came two months after an officer shot dead Sayed Faisal of Cambridge during a January 4 confrontation.
The shooting death came after police initially received calls about a man jumping out of an apartment window with a kukri knife, allegedly cutting himself with the gun and broken glass.
When authorities located Faisal, authorities said police initially tried to verbally assault the 20-year-old but used a non-lethal sponge round when he allegedly moved towards police with a knife.
After the non-lethal round failed, an officer once fired his gun, mortally wounding Faisal, who died in a hospital after being treated at the scene. The officer was later placed on leave.
After Faisal’s death and an outcry from community members demanding an investigation into whether lethal force was necessary, the police department announced it would introduce reforms that would include body cameras and training in using non-lethal solutions when responding to emergency calls.
A lawyer representing the victim’s family said the new body cameras are a step in the right direction but more needs to be done.
By hiring PERF, officers hoped to gain independent, third-party verification of the police department’s training programs, policies, and protocols.
“Part of this work will include the police review of the fatal shooting of Arif Sayed Faisal on January 4 to determine how training and protocols can be revised or improved to ensure the safest outcome for all involved in a critical incident ‘ the announcement said.
Officials said the review will be conducted by a seven-person team that will include a combination of law enforcement officers and civilians, “one of whom specializes in investigations involving officers.”
“A report will be submitted and made available to the public via the Cambridge Police website within three months of PERF conducting their last interview and/or receiving their last requested items following the completion of an independent investigation,” the statement said Added announcement.
On your websitePERF describes itself as a not-for-profit organization founded in 1976 that functions as a “police research and policy organization and provider of management services, technical assistance and executive-level training in support of law enforcement agencies”.
The Cambridge Police Department noted that the group previously worked with departments in Paterson, NJ, Fredericksburg, VA, Fayetteville, NC, Virginia Beach, VA, and Washington, DC
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