The Northampton Police Department held a monthly "high-five Friday" program outside local elementary schools, forming a line of officers offering high-fives as students entered.
Officers canceled the program last week out of fears that some students would be uncomfortable with uniformed officers outside a school. That turned out to be a divisive decision, with some applauding their sensitive and nuanced approach to racial issues and others saying it was a gross overreaction.
Here's the post in which the department announced it was cancelling the program.
"For a large portion of our population this program may not seem controversial," the department wrote on its Facebook page. "However, we cannot overlook the fact that this program may be received differently by some members of our community."
The department said the complaints were largely focused on minorities. According to U.S. Census data, 90% of Northampton residents are white.
Here's a post from the first high-five Friday.
Conservatives took the move as an attack on police.
Police Dept. Cancels ‘High-Five Friday’ at Schools Because Some Students May Be ‘Uncomfortable’..ILLEGALS..OMG THE PC CULTURE IS KILLING US— Anthony Russo (@Tony19542) February 22, 2017
Others saw it as another symptom of "PC culture."
Thank you...for continually looking for ways to serve our community and for being willing to listen and adapt.
But some commenters on the department's Facebook page defended the move.