Falmouth Legislator seeks to license Police Officers

Discussion in 'Academy Information' started by 9X19, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. 9X19

    9X19 MassCops Member

    By Ethan Genter

    Posted Apr. 2, 2016 at 2:00 AM
    Updated Apr 2, 2016 at 7:20 AM

    Eastham Police Chief Edward Kulhawik said he was "shocked" by the lack of across-the-board training standards for Massachusetts police officers when he came to the Cape in 2009.
    Kulhawik previously worked as an officer and police chief in Connecticut, a state that uses the Peace Officer Standards and Training system.
    In Connecticut, officers had to finish a set amount of training in a three-year cycle, and all incoming officers had to meet the same set of standards before going to police academies, he said.
    Officers who committed violations or did not finish training could be decertified, he said.

    Massachusetts is one of only six states that do not use the POST system. State Rep. David Vieira, R-Falmouth, hopes to change that.
    Vieira is leading the charge with a fellow legislator to form a commission whose goal would be to make policing standards and training mandates uniform across the state and require police officers to be licensed.
    Officers who engaged in misconduct, such as brutality or sexual harassment, could lose their license.
    Vieira, a former deputy with the Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office, said the system would help with “investing in the training and assisting officers so they know the latest and the greatest.”
    A briefing Tuesday drew supporters and critics of the bill to form the commission, which would go on to develop the means of oversight for the POST system.
    If approved, the commission would be made up of representatives from several agencies, including the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee, Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association, Massachusetts Police Association and Massachusetts Harbormasters Association.
    “It’s so long overdue,” Kulhawik said.

    Roger Goldman, a professor of law at Saint Louis University School of Law, who has worked with other states on putting the POST system into place, said the standards were "not unusual" in the context of other licensed professions, such as doctors and lawyers, whose licenses also can be revoked for misconduct.
    "It's sort of an oddity that Massachusetts regulates in this way virtually every profession and occupation but not law enforcement officers, and given their power to arrest, search and use deadly force you'd think that they would be the first to be so regulated," Goldman said.
    The concept is that anyone entering law enforcement would meet the same minimum standards for hiring and training, Vieira said, which also would help the process when officers moved to other departments.
    Vieira said he did not think the POST system would be much different from the state’s current guidelines.
    “I don’t expect it’s going to be radically different,” he said.
    Sandwich Police Chief Peter Wack, who like Kulhawik worked in law enforcement in Connecticut before coming to the Cape, said he supported making Massachusetts a POST state and would welcome the uniformity. Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson said he was in favor of forming the special commission.

    Bourne Police Chief Dennis Woodside, however, wrote in an email that he was familiar with POST "and I have not been impressed so far." He wrote he was not immediately able to comment further.
    The state currently has training guidelines, but money can be an issue.
    “This is fine,” Wack said, “but how do we pay for it?” Wack said he tries to send officers to training as much as possible, but sometimes the funding just isn’t there.
    Raymond McGrath, legislative director of the National Association of Government Employees, attended the briefing and said his organization opposed the bill. McGrath argued that while improvements could be made to the current system, the solution would lie with the Legislature providing more funding to support departments.
    "The Legislature has the power and they're not aggressive enough in providing funding for police training," McGrath said.
    “We’re at a crossroads with just how we do community policing,” said state Rep. Russell Holmes, D-Boston, the co-sponsor for the special commission resolve. “Funding is always there for things that you think are important.”
    — State House News Service contributed to this report. Follow Ethan Genter on Twitter: @EthanGenterCCT.
    Falmouth legislator seeks to license police officers

     
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  2. 9X19

    9X19 MassCops Member

    Looks like a POST system could be in the works....
     
  3. woodyd

    woodyd MassCops Member

    I could see some benefits... Like that people who graduated from the SSPO academy, with rigorous training in New Braintree could be certified as municipal officers, instead of the current system designed to prevent campus guys from leaving. Or that someone who graduated from a muni academy and becomes a Trooper needing to start from square one. I'd favor two certifications, one for FT and one for PT, with muni, enviro, T and State all getting the same cert. And a restriction that PT guys can't comprise more than a certain % of officers per dept, and can't work already alone on a shift without at least one FT guy also working.
     
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  4. PBC FL Cop

    PBC FL Cop Subscribing Member

    Interesting!
     
    mpd61 likes this.
  5. mpd61

    mpd61 Federal Auxiliary Police

    Yes this is very interesting.
    Yes we ALL know the politics of MPTC v. Sheriff v. SSPO. v Troopers etc, etc, etc.....And how it relates to training.
    But for Chiefs like Kulhawik, Hicks and others suddenly acting like half the police officers in Massachusetts are uncertified, unregulated, unlicensed, unqualified, and therefore unsatisfactory to serve is just speak.
    Officers who engaged in misconduct, such as brutality or sexual harassment, could lose their license.
    Yes Mr. Viera, because right now there is no mechanism in place to discipline these officers cuz they're "unlicensed"
    Vieira said he did not think the POST system would be much different from the state’s current guidelines.
    “I don’t expect it’s going to be radically different,” he said.

    I don't know, Chief Kulhawik was "shocked" coming all the way from Connecticut, by our current guidelines.
    Bourne Police Chief Dennis Woodside, however, wrote in an email that he was familiar with POST "and I have not been impressed so far."
    Don't expect to be on that Mass Chiefs POST Committee roster, when its formed Dennnis! Good man!

     
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  6. Goose

    Goose The list is long but distinguished. Staff Member

    Something important to note that it is "a POST system" not "the POST system". Not all the states have the same requirements and guidelines. Those things would still need working out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
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  7. 9X19

    9X19 MassCops Member

    I just read the bill text on MA legislation site. Im pleased to see all aspects of law enforcement will have reps at the meetings. Specifically I'm in supporting this because I want the MA sheriffs to give us deputy sheriffs the training we deserve. In my county we are all duel deputy sheriff/correctional officers. However to work outside the jail you need at least the reserve intermittent. I have over 750 hrs of training combined (356 hr reserve/ intermittent and 400 hr county corrections academy). I would like to see a combined training academy to give us a deputy sheriff specific academy and license. Its time we get modernized with the sheriffs. Theres no reason a full time deputy sheriff should be deputized without proper training.
     
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  8. pahapoika

    pahapoika Subscribing Member

    With the exception of K-9, apprehension, maybe transportation there's no real call for it. As one former member use to mention there are no unincorporated areas in Mass.

    Don't get me wrong. It would be great for people getting some experience behind the wall, attend the full time academy and move on to a PD , but it looks like an uphill battle with most sheriffs not interested in providing the training.
     
    Inspector71 likes this.
  9. woodyd

    woodyd MassCops Member

    But the COs/Deputies already go to an academy that includes many if the same topics as a muni academy- MSO is like 24 weeks and covers law, firearms, EVOC, DT and many other courses. I'd just assume have the training divisions at the Sheriffs offices work with MPTC to bring their academies in line with FT standards, and grant FT certificates to graduates... But they never will for the same reason why SSPO isn't considered an FT cert- the campuses don't want to lose their POs to towns and the SOs don't want to lose their Deputies to towns. But with POST, the Sheriffs academies could be set up to grant an FT POST certification.
     
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  10. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    Sheriffs just want to be deputized to work details. There is no other benefit. I am in favor of merging the sheriffs with the DOC. RI has sheriffs but they only perform court room security and transport inmates from ACI to court. It will never happen because being a Sheriff (not deputy or CO) in MA is stepping stone for a politician to bigger and better. In RI we have POST, but we also have a Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights. Which guarantees us specific protections and a hearing per general law. I would like to see MA get that on the books along with a POST.
     
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  11. Inspector71

    Inspector71 Duke of Campus Police

    There it is! Sheriffs are NOT set up with regard to infrastructure/training/policy/statutes for community police duties in this Commonwealth (911 response). yeah maybe somewhere in the distant future. But for now you're talking paradigm shift in Politics, legislation, and FUNDING. As it stands, NOT necessary at all. POST is an interesting concept, but not an urgent one as I see it.
     
  12. FAPD

    FAPD MassCops Member

    Yeah that's gonna really work in alot of towns west of 495! NOT!!!!! YOU want that? YOU come up with the $$$ for those towns buddy!
     
  13. Edmizer1

    Edmizer1 Supporting Member

    Who is going to make a determination that an officer engaged in sexual harassment and have their license taken? I know the MPTC wants to run the POST system. The full-time admin employees at the MPTC are only there because they did not have enough political pull to get a different job in state government. If they could have landed a better job at the RMV or Mass Highway that's where they would have been. Many of them don't even have the slightest experience in law enforcement but will potentially be deciding licensing issues.
     
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  14. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    Then, they should do what other New England states do with small towns in rural areas, with limited number of officers. During the daytime, the town police will cover calls, after midnight they turn calls over to the state police (NH, VT,ME do this.) Everyone and their brother has the reserve academy, doesn't mean they are capable of working the road alone.

    As far as POST is concerned and this bill, it seems like someone has an agenda or is trying to hook up a friend. Its seemed to work well for the last 200 years, so I don't see the need for a push right now. However, I am all in favor of standardizing traning and doing away with redundant academies and police powers. However, like is said with the POST, should come a LEOBOR, so the state can't nail you to the wall for minor infractions.
     
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  15. FAPD

    FAPD MassCops Member

    Ok so you are demanding that towns hire, pay to train, schedule and pay FT officers for Part time coverage? Put the burden on the MSP for the rest of the clock? Not much for continuity. Most of those brothers and sisters that have the reserve academy HAVE BEEN working the road alone quite capably for years.
     
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  16. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    I am not demanding anything, just saying it could be done. Other states have done away with part timers (not saying I agree) or have made them have the same full time academy. This state has over 2500 troopers, that could be used to actually patrol. All in all, I am a firm believer in training and OTJ training/FTO. The reserve academy gets you the keys to the car, but you need to know how to drive the car.
     
  17. BRION24

    BRION24 Educating the public

    2500 Troopers? Where did you get that number from, we're not even close to that number. Please don't assume that we are tripping all over each other because there are so many of us. Most shifts are running at minimum every day. And yes the MSP already deals with towns out west when there is no local department or the department is only open certain hours.
     
  18. Kilvinsky

    Kilvinsky I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.

    I once spoke with a Trooper a bunch of years ago now, who said in all candor, that he actually felt, while on the 'small town patrol', he learned more from a P/T sgt. in one town then he learned in the academy. Now, granted this was only ONE Trooper who said this, and granted we ALL know that academies are wonderful and necessary but not always inline with the realities of the job, but that one statement from that one Trooper spoke volumes to me.

    Part timers in many cases, BECAUSE they often have only themselves to rely on, learn everything and experience much. Never sell them short.

    AND, don't forget, a guy working part time in one town is often working part time in another as well.
     
  19. mpd61

    mpd61 Federal Auxiliary Police

    felony says; " The reserve academy gets you the keys to the car, but you need to know how to drive the car."
    Overly simplified, and perhaps mildly insulting! You could certainly say the same of post MPOC FT Noobs!o_O

    The above statement is much more objective and factual regarding the PI/Reserve officer issue(s) in the Commonwealth.
    Felony you sound a bit like an FT elitist. Drink some tea or you'll end up like Loyal.:confused:
     
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  20. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    Well, since I worked as a reserve, a campus cop and now full time, I can speak from personal experience. The difference between a reserve who works a weekend shift once a month and a FT guy, who works the road 40+ hours a week, is experience. Sorry, if you don't know what you’re doing on the street, then you shouldn't be out there. It was a very big learning curve for me when I started. If you read my previous post, before you blew a gasket calling me some type of elitist, you would see I was talking more about the need for a formalized FTO program that teaches reserves the proper way to handle calls etc. Like I said, the PT academy gets you the keys but if you don’t know what you’re doing, then you’re going to be a danger to yourself and others. Yes you're also correct that a new recruit out of MPOC doesn't know what to do either. Now Calm down.


    Also Brion24, I was incorrect on my statement, regarding the troop strength of the state police. They are authorized 2300 troopers that can patrol the western mass towns. The state police have always been key law enforcement players in western mass towns. Not saying you're all jumping to go handle calls out west but it could be done.
     
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  21. Pvt. Cowboy

    Pvt. Cowboy Lemme take a selfie Staff Member

  22. HuskyH-2

    HuskyH-2 G-Rap made me do it!

    In my FT academy a lot of the guys and gals were reserves for their depts. They worked 40 plus hours a week. Many of them had set shifts. They went through the same FTO as full timers. Because of this a few didn't even have FTO after graduation, for them it was back to business as usual.
     
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  23. FAPD

    FAPD MassCops Member


    Your first statement shows both ends of the experience scale. Pretty sure most reserves west of 495 are working more than just eight hours a month. Your second statement assumes that the entire strength of the MSP is available to go take over "out west" for the towns. Come on now, you're entitled to your opinion, and have reserve/campus/FT time, but defend you position better than that.
     
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  24. Fuzzywuzzy

    Fuzzywuzzy MassCops Member

  25. felony

    felony MassCops Member

    Apparently I touched a nerve. First of all, reserves are in violation, if they are used 40 hours a week. Secondly, I know the MSP isn't jumping to go out west, but it could be done. The NH/ME/CT SP all make it work, with far less staffing than the MSP.

    Lastly, there are two types of reserves, those who want to go on full time and those that want to work details and stay at their other job. The reserves that don't want to better themselves other than the usual BS in-service are the ones, who don't work enough road time, to keep up with officer safety and patrol tactics. When you work with a fireman one week, a guy from Verizon the next and a clerk, who all wen through the R/I academy to play cop and get details, your attitude will change. The latter are what gives reserves a bad name and cause these debates. Obviously, the MPTC is picking up on it, if they are considering changing the whole state to a POST system and analyzing training for reserves.

    I fully support any reserve who wants to do his job and actually works the road. Everyone has to start some where and I have no problem with them. Like I said, I am speaking from my personal experience. However, this debate is pointless you have your opinion and I have mine. Stay safe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2016

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