YARMOUTH, Mass. (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- In New England two officers were killed on the job in less than two weeks. Now the mother of one of those officers and the chief of his department want change.
Chief Frank Frederickson of the Yarmouth Police Department in Massachusetts says the court system failed to protect Officer Sean Gannon and Corporal Eugene Cole.
"If we are not protected, how do you think that makes the average citizen feel?"
Chief Frederickson says he is furious after learning 29 year-old John Williams, charged with murder for the death of Corporal Eugene Cole, was freed on reduced bail by a Massachusetts judge.
"The bottom line is, that was a dangerous person that should be segregated from society to protect the public and protect police officers who protect the public."
Chief Frederickson had to bury his own officer not long before the death of Corporal Cole. Thomas Latanowich, also 29, was charged in the death of Officer Sean Gannon. Latanowich has a lengthy rap sheet.
"Most of the judges I know are high quality people," says Chief Frederickson. "But the culture in which our court system works under, allows for too much leniency on the worst criminals."
In Massachusetts, judges are told to set bail at a price defendants can afford. Superior Court Judge Timothy Q. Feeley reduced Williams' bail last month from $7,500 to $5,000 after his arrest on a felony firearm charge.
"You can do everything right, but that one thing goes wrong with someone with an intent, it can end very tragically."
He adds, being prepared for those bad situations starts with equipping officers to protect themselves.
"We hear from politicians how they'll do anything they can to help. Well, the federal government cut the bullet proof vest program for police officers. Does that make any sense?"
Officer Sean Gannon's mother says a lack of resources is only part of the problem.
"Sean's story was built on a form foundation of family and love and faith," explains Denise Morency-Gannon. "This other person his murderer....had no foundation. His foundation was on sand."
She says lawmakers across New England need to fix what she calls "a horrific nightmare." She adds a cultural shift is necessary too.
"It starts at home. It absolutely starts at home."