BOSTON (CBS) – Larry Calderone, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, said morale is “very low” in the department amid calls from some to defund the police, a movement he called a “foolish argument.”

Calderone talked about the state of policing with WBZ-TV political analyst Jon Keller.

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“It is extremely hurtful to continually hear the same rhetoric, not only from some anarchist from outside Boston, but our own elected officials as well. We’re looking for someone to stand up for us,” Calderone said. “Our men and women come to work every night here to protect not only themselves and their families, but every citizen in Boston and every visitor that comes here. So morale is very low. But we’re the best here in Boston and Massachusetts.”

Calderone spoke about the protests and riots that happened last year after the death of George Floyd. He called it surprising to see the violence directed at officers in Boston, which he said is “one of the best police departments in the country.”

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“I’m not saying we’re immune to issues in the police department. I’m not going that far to say that it would never happen here in Boston. However, we have a very good track record, and I believe us to be one of the best police departments in the country,” he said. “We have officers out there that are, they’re coaching in your community, they’re answering calls for service, they’re embracing police reform. We need to be recognized for that to make us feel better. It’s hurtful.”

When asked about movements to defund the police, Calderone said it is not something he has seen a desire for in Boston.

“Defund the police, it’s a foolish argument,” Calderone said. “I’m walking the streets and I visit the stations and I talk to the community at community events. I’m yet to receive one citizen to tell me they want to defund police, that they don’t want police in their neighborhoods. If anything I’m hearing they want more police officers. They want to see them on more corners, in more playgrounds, in our schools protecting our young ones.”

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Keller @ Large: Part 2

Jon Keller