By Bob Katzen
Governor Baker filed legislation to create a system for certifying Massachusetts law enforcement officers and ensure that police departments have access to candidates’ training and disciplinary records and provide incentives for officers to pursue advanced training to better serve their communities.
The proposal would create the Police Officer Standards and Accreditation Committee which would be comprised of law enforcement and civilian representatives, at least half of whom would be required to be persons of color. The measure would require police officers in Massachusetts to be certified and allow for decertification, suspension of certification or reprimand in the event of certain misconduct.
“This bill will create a more modern, transparent and accountable system for law enforcement credentialing and training. It will provide police departments with the tools they need to build trust and strong relationships with every community across the Commonwealth—at a time when we need it most,” said Baker.
The committee would be responsible for certifying all law enforcement officials in Massachusetts, including those from non-municipal departments serving transit agencies, colleges, and other entities. The bill would also require the committee to create a database of certified officers, ensure that training and misconduct records are available to officers’ current and future employers, and develop a standardized background check for those seeking employment with a new police department.