Issue After MA Officer Killed: Should Two Cops Handle “Clothes Jobs”?


Springfield, Ma., police say no department policy was violated when a lone cop went to help a scared woman with her ex-boyfriend — on a routine call to stand by while belongings were exchanged. Law enforcement experts tell the Boston Herald that the sudden explosion of violence that ensued and the officer's killing reveal a gaping hole in the way police handle volatile domestic situations. “My guess is they will change the procedures in place,” said Eugene O'Donnell of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a former New York City cop, about the Monday shooting spree. “They're likely to take these from a more service-oriented call to a more police-oriented call. [ ] If they only send one officer now, they'll probably start to send two.”

Officer Kevin Ambrose was patrolling alone when Charlene Mitchell, 29, called 911. She told police she had a restraining order against her boyfriend, and she was in fear for her life as she tried to recover some of her property. “NYPD call these clothes jobs,” O'Donnell said. “Basically the police are like referees.” Ambrose met Mitchell and her ex, Shawn Bryan, a Rikers Island prison guard. At the apartment, Bryan shoved Mitchell inside, then shot Ambrose through the door, then opened it and fired two more shots, killing him. Mitchell was also shot, and Bryan killed himself.

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