20K sign petition for tougher bail regulations in wake of officer's killing

YARMOUTH, Mass. — A petition sparked by the death of Yarmouth police Officer Sean Gannon now has more than 20,000 signatures.

The Yarmouth Police Department created and shared the petitions saying judges need to be held accountable for releasing violent offenders while they are awaiting their court dates.

The man accused of shooting and killing Gannon is Thomas Latanowich. He has more than 100 prior convictions or pending criminal charges on his record at the time of the shooting.

Latanowich was ordered held without bail at his arraignment on Friday. His next court date is scheduled for June 26.

The petition calling for tougher sentencing for violent criminals is very personal to the Auburn Police Department. Nearly two years ago, Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. was shot and killed by a man with a lengthy criminal history.

Auburn Police sent Boston 25 News the following statement:

"The murder of Officer Gannon has re-opened emotional wounds for our Department from the loss of Officer Ron Tarentino Jr. in May 2016.  Sadly, it appears that nothing has been learned since then....We remain optimistic and hopeful that the lives of these officers and what they represented will be a catalyst for positive changes."