What Is the Definition of a ‘Good Cop’?

Letters to the Editor

Originally Published November 21, 2019 in the Arlington Advocate

It took too long for me to do this, but I finally read Lt. Pedrini’s articles in the Massachusetts Police Association newsletter. I encourage you to do the same: https://www.arlingtonfightsracism.com/the-issues/what-pedrini-said. The secondary sources and small quotations don’t convey the seriousness of his words.

Lt. Pedrini — like everyone on the Arlington Police force — has sworn himself to uphold a code of ethics. An excerpt of this code is: “As a Law Enforcement Officer, my fundamental duty is to mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all man to liberty, equality and justice. I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all…”

But Lt. Pedrini wrote about a human being this way: “This animal needs to be put down, but unfortunately this is Massachusetts.” (Pedrini also swore to uphold the constitution of our state, but this statement from him calls his allegiance into question.)

The Arlington Police Department also proclaims allegiance to values of respect, tolerance, partnership and understanding. But Lt. Pedrini wrote: “It’s time we forget about ‘restraint,’ ‘measured responses,’… and other feel-good BS… Let’s meet violence with violence and get the job done.”
I’ve heard several people say, “Trust me, he is a good cop.” But how does a “good cop” say these things? This “good cop” wrote and submitted these articles, and helped ensure they were distributed to a wide audience. His words explicitly violate the oath he took as a policeman. Frankly, his words are really frightening.

One person told me not to “go by Lt. Pedrini’s words.” What am I supposed to go by? And why would a good cop not stand by his word? I ask the APD and our town leadership to be noncompromising in requiring our force to stand by their oath and for there to be clear consequences if people don’t.

Sarah Glover
Franklin Street