New Massachuetts Gov. Deval Patrick has been touting his plan to add 250 police officers to walk the beat in cities and towns, but the Boston Globe says Patrick would pay for most of it by stripping money from a popular police grant program that sends money to local departments. The grant money traditionally is distributed by the state legislature. Some of it already is used for hiring police officers, raising questions about whether the Patrick plan would actually add the number of officers that he asserts.
Key legislators say the plan by Patrick, who pledged during the campaign to put 1,000 new officers on the street, may be killed. Representative Michael Costello, cochair of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee, said it may be “dead on arrival” because it is “somewhat of a shell game.” Public Safety Secretary Kevin Burke could not say Patrick’s initiative would result in a net gain of 250 officers, as promised. “There will be winners and losers,” he said.