New England Mosques Are Wise To Ask 'Police Departments To Linger'

Mar 22, 2019

In our look back at the week's news, several interfaith services were held in New England after the mosque shootings in New Zealand. In Connecticut, a group of mosques has been talking about safety, including asking local police for increased patrols.

The mosques are also considering active shooter training and establishing lockdown procedures during Sunday schools.

“I think it’s really great that the mosques are asking the police departments to linger, the way that the police department lingers in New York City in front of synagogues, in front of temples,” said panelist Natalia Muñoz.

On the other hand, Muñoz added, such a focus on defense could potentially detract from the act of worship.

In Hadley, Massachusetts, a member of the planning board this week said he was sorry if he offended anyone when he made comments recently that have been called outright racist. Board member John Mieczkowski previously told a building contractor who was working for someone of Indian heritage that they should “not bring a camel” to the next meeting. At least five people made formal complaints to the board.

“I think that we really just have to learn how to accept somebody’s apology,” Muñoz said. “He apologized, he said he didn’t mean it, he didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, he thought he was being funny. It didn’t land. It’s not funny.”

Panelist Matt Szafranski said the largely white town of Hadley seems aware of its lack of diversity.

“I also think people just need to ask themselves: what is funny, and what is an easy reach for something that used to be funny,” he said. “I don't think people are using humor in a way that's very effective. It's a very gut instinct that doesn't always land very well. And it never did.”

Lastly this week, new information was revealed about Springfield's newly appointed acting police commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. When hired into the position, Clapprood stated she wants more transparency and trust between the department and the community. Numerous police scandals are under investigation.

But this week, MassLive reporter Dan Glaun broke a story that Clapprood, 30 years ago, used an unmarked police car to meet a friend after work, and then lied about it. She was convicted of filing a false report and later got her record cleared. Clapprood told The Republican that it was screwup of youthful naivety.

Guests:

Listen to The Short List Podcast.

Find more podcasts from NEPR.