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City Council Hears Debate on Office Of Commissioner

The Cambridge City Council held a public hearing last night on a proposal to create the office of police commissioner, but did not vote on the issue.

The council unanimously passed an amendment to delete the requirement that the commissioner "not be a police officer" when several councilors and witnesses said they thought that the clause would preclude picking a policeman for the post.

Pauline Swift, a member of the Social Action Committee of the Old Cambridge Baptist Church and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, said that a citizen with a complaint about the police department would feel better talking to a civilian head of the department.

But Sgt. Harold Murphy, secretary of the Cambridge Police Association, said that he thinks that instituting a police commissioner is tantamount to "throwing $30-40,000 out the window."

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The council decided not to hold a hearing about the alleged shooting of three dogs by police officers on March 6, until the criminal complaints are resolved by the Middlesex Court on April 7.

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