Cambridge Hires Independent Consultant To Review Police Department Policies

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The city of Cambridge has hired a consultant to conduct an independent review of Cambridge Police in response to the January police-involved shooting that killed Arif Sayed Faisal.

The city and Cambridge Police have contracted with Washing D.C.-based Police Executive Research Forum to review the department's training programs, policies, and protocols. The consultant will be reviewing the fatal shooting of Arif Sayed Faisal that took place on January 4 to "determine how training and protocols could be revised or improved to ensure the safest outcome for all involved in a critical incident."

“Following the tragic police shooting of Arif Sayed Faisal, I have been committed to charting a path forward by working with the Police Commissioner and City department heads to evaluate our existing services and implement the six recommendations outlined by the City Council that will strengthen our overall safety and support for the Cambridge community,” City Manager Yi-An Huang said in a statement. “Bringing on PERF is one of several commitments we are in the process of implementing and they have a strong record on police reform and helping departments make meaningful changes. We are looking forward to their review and recommendations.”

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Faisal, a 20-year-old UMass Boston student, was shot and killed by Cambridge Police during a confrontation where he was allegedly holding a knife and advanced at police, authorities said. The community was outraged by the incident sparking protests that led to several reforms being made in the department such as the use of body cameras on officers.

A seven-member team will be independently reviewing the department. The PERF-selected team will include four law enforcement professionals and three civilian members, one of which specializes in officer-involved shooting investigations, the city of Cambridge said in a statement.

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