Boston police officials say they should never have allowed Officer Leonard Brown to carry his gun while his former wife had an active restraining order against him. Last July, he was accused of flashing his department- issued .40-caliber Glock to a former in-law during what has been described as a vodka- infused tirade, saying, “Do you know who you’re [expletive] with?” The Boston Globe says that the Boston Police Department – unlike the State Police – has repeatedly allowed officers accused of domestic-related threats or violence to continue carrying guns. The department allows the practice, usually with more restrictions than Brown had, so that officers can continue working regular patrol shifts and detail shifts at nightclubs and construction sites.
That policy runs counter to a recommendation from an internal committee, which said in 2005 that all officers subject to restraining orders should be stripped of their weapons for the duration of the orders. The committee found that the department’s in-house counseling program for officers accused of domestic violence was lacking. But since 2003, only one officer has been sent to an enhanced counseling program, and the department forfeited $40,000 from a federal grant it received to set up the improved counseling. Officers are sent to the old, in-house program that the committee had viewed as inadequate. After learning of the Globe’s findings, Police Commissioner Edward Davis plans to launch a fresh review of policies for handling officers accused of domestic violence. He plans to revise regulations so that no one is allowed to carry guns when they are subject to restraining orders.