The following is a statement issued by Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant on June 9.
MARLBOROUGH – As Mayor of the City of Marlborough, I have had many discussions with friends, colleagues and residents over the recent police brutality causing a senseless and tragic death. I want to assure you I was and remain as upset as all of you.
As we look to our leaders in Washington DC the discussions are more divisive than ever before. Rather than assuring us of calm, we only have extremist responses on both sides making it difficult for the average citizen to know who to support or what to believe.
I was fortunate to be part of the Marlborough High School graduation this past weekend. If you attended or watched the exercises on local cable you would have seen firsthand the real meaning of a “Melting Pot”. We have residents of all nationalities and ethnicities learning together and stepping into adulthood together.
These students are the backbone of our community. In my remarks I asked these students how they would respond to current times now, and in the years to come. Only time will answer that question.
While some in the country are talking of defunding or abolishing their police department, I want to be clear that under no circumstances will I ever consider such a proposal so long as I hold the Office of Mayor.
Marlborough is a city of over 40,000 people with roughly 70 sworn officers whose job is to investigate crimes and protect our community. They work extremely hard on our behalf and deserve our support and respect.
During this time where we are questioning our institutions, I also believe it is important to publicly renew the support and faith we have in the men and women who step forth to ensure our families can sleep safely at night. I am proud of our accredited Marlborough Police Department.
As Mayor I sometimes receive briefings about particular instances where an officer has disarmed an armed criminal which prevented harm from being done to others.
For our officers, it’s just another day on duty. These details don’t appear much in newspapers anymore, but I can tell you that even in a community as great as ours, bad things happen more often than any of us would like to admit.
This is a time for all of us in leadership roles to reflect on what we can do better. I am committed to the ideals of true community policing and have successfully integrated additional programming in our schools over the past several years in efforts to better familiarize students to the men and women in our police department.
Chief David Giorgi and I have spoken about ways to enhance officer training and increase city communication between our officers and residents and businesses throughout our community. There is always room for improvement. We all can work together in this important conversation.
Further, I know that many of our officers strongly feel they can be part of the solution that rids law enforcement of anyone that carries any malice, prejudice or racism within them.
Actions speak louder than words.
I will commit to you to continue working with Chief Giorgi and the leaders within the MPD on implementing programs and training that makes our police department one that will have the confidence and support of every city resident.