MARSHFIELD (CBS) – Marshfield Police Chief Phil Tavares is sharing a personal video explaining why he became a police officer. He said it’s an important perspective to share with a nation in turmoil over police brutality.
Tavares said the purpose of the video is to show people a different viewpoint, one you don’t hear about too often – someone who hated police officers and then became one.
Back in November of 1987, the chief’s father Phil was arrested by Carver Police for not leaving the home of his then-wife who had a restraining order against him. Tavares said officers brutally beat his father, kicking him in the face and slamming his head off a heater. He bailed his father out of jail the next morning and brought him to the hospital, but within four days, he was dead.
“I didn’t always want to be a police officer, in fact just the opposite. I hated the police, I despised them,” Tavares said in the video.
The chief said a medical examiner ruled the injuries his father suffered contributed to his death. The police officers involved were cleared in the investigation. Tavares channeled his anger into making a difference, earning a master’s degree, graduating from the FBI Academy and becoming Marshfield’s chief of police.
“I’ve been silent about this for nearly 33 years but with the turmoil that’s going on our nation right now I felt it was necessary to hear from a perspective that was once anti-police and is now pro-police. I don’t think that story has been told yet. The vast majority of police officers are doing the right thing all the time and that’s the reason why they took the job,” the chief said.
The video has been shared by Marshfield Police and the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.
In a statement, Chief Tavares said the video was made “to inspire people and to give them hope.”
“In life, when we are faced with adversity, we have choices. We can stay bitter or we can get better. Lessons can be learned, changes can be made and we can pave the road to a better future. All of us have had bad experiences with different people in different professions – but these negative interactions should not represent the professions as a whole,” he said.
“This video represents my story and my inspiration for making the choices that I have made in my career.”