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Southern Campus Cop
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So someone I know who’s been trying to get on the job (recent college grad) got an interview for a Department of Public Health “campus police officer” job. The job posting (Westfield) says they are sworn as SSPO, however from some quick Google searching it seems a lot of current/former employees are claiming on Indeed that DPH no longer employs sworn officers and it’s only a security job. I thought I also recalled hearing in here that DPH and DMH were phasing out police jobs. Anyone got the inside scoop on whether or not this is true? He already makes good money working security for a hospital, so there’s not much point in jumping over to the DPH job if it isn’t sworn.

Also I guess as an aside, does anyone know any good non-CS departments to apply for in Western/Central MA? He just moved there and hasn’t gotten to take the CS test yet.
 

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I think, therefore I'll never be promoted.
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I have a feeling that most cities and towns in Western Mass. are non-civil service, but I could be wrong.
 
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The new POST standards mandate that anyone who has arrest powers must have the full-time police academy. From my understanding, most DPH/DMH cops only had the reserve/intermittent academy, which is no longer acceptable for an SSPO warrant.

The thing is, those jobs were always glorified security positions, to begin with. The people you’re dealing with are already in a secured facility, so what possible good would an arrest accomplish?

If nothing else, it gets you state benefits (health insurance) and also starts the public pension clock ticking. Every day you spend there will count towards retirement with a local/county/state job. That alone would make it worth it to me.
 

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Southern Campus Cop
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was thinking similar to above. I figured they’re probably not paying out to send people to the academy but I told him it might be worth it just to get the benefits clock ticking for when he hopefully gets on with another agency. The job posting says it is a sworn job under SSPO, but i figured they probably just haven’t updated, or maybe they will still swear people in if someone applies and already has an FT academy. I told him that he probably shouldn’t have his hopes up that DPH would be willing to pay for him to go through a full academy with the new reform.

He’s also going through the process with UMASS, so fingers crossed, he’ll get that job and it won’t be too much of an issue.
 

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Most of the small towns see the writing on the wall with PTers and are phasing them out through attrition. I know a lot of towns that once relied on them are now getting approval from their BOS or town manager to hire more FT officers.

If you look at CJIS job listings…. shows towns are hurting everywhere.
 

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Most of the small towns see the writing on the wall with PTers and are phasing them out through attrition. I know a lot of towns that once relied on them are now getting approval from their BOS or town manager to hire more FT officers.

mine look at CJIS job listings shows towns are hurting everywhere.
Agreed. I just started doing some part-time administrative work at a small PD out here and they have two PT officers. One is currently in the FT academy and the other is working full time until the next academy. After that, no more part time officers.
 
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Southern Campus Cop
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone! Fingers crossed that UMASS works out for him, but I told him to shotgun out applications to anywhere he sees openings and hopefully he’ll snag one. Worst case he has to wait for the next CS test to come around and he can stay working at the hospital til then.
 

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Southern Campus Cop
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well as a follow-up for anyone who’s curious, DPH is NOT sworn, at least not in Westfield, although the people on the interview panel apparently insist “well it IS a campus police officer position, just not sworn”.

Maybe if someone worked there and already had a full-time academy, they’d stay SSPO, but it seems like they don’t have any intention of keeping their department as a police agency, except in the name. I won’t even get started on the fact that although I’m not a MA law scholar, I’m 99.999% sure you can’t call yourself “police” if you’re not, well, the police.
 

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Duke of Campus Police
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I got pulled over once by a DPH Police Chief at the Ferneld while cutting through (15+ years ago.) I later learned that it was rumored among the local PD that this gentleman was illiterate. Gotta love state jobs.
You mean the Fernald school in Waltham? Bet he was wearing a leather jacket and driving a 92 Crown Vic.
 

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People I used to work with years ago got their start at the old Boston State Hospital (or Mattapan, whatever it was called)* and were often fairly busy. It wasn't a case of dealing with the clientele so much as those who would use the grounds for nefarious purposes, ie, commit crimes or trespass. That shit is a real problem that has to be dealt with, but alas, in this day and age, 'just call the locals or the state police' is the answer, like they've got nothing else to do. But, whereas the crime rates are not overwhelming, the pay isn't great at all (in spite of state bennies) and the job is looked down on, it's tough to attract good people who are willing to stay. Of course, the downsizing and closing of these facilities is also an issue. But, so long as there are liberals who feel that people should NOT be confined (for their own good as well as the public's) and there are plenty of park benches, doorways and tarps for these folks to live on and in (or at least until they're put up in expensive hotels) the down sizing and closing will continue. The Roundhouse Hotel in Boston is a MUCH better solution than a well run (as they SHOULD be) state facility with medical personnel on staff to look after these folks. Here Here!

*I recall in 1978-1980 working for an ambulance company and doing transfers in and out of some of those places. Even then, seeing all that land, all those buildings going to waste and rotting away and thinking, "Why is this being allowed? Is it CHEAPER to close this place and allow people with mental health and drug related issues to roam aimlessly and at times terrorize and victimize innocent people?' Ok, I didn't think THAT deeply, it was more like, "What a fucking waste."
 

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Southern Campus Cop
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I got pulled over once by a DPH Police Chief at the Ferneld while cutting through (15+ years ago.) I later learned that it was rumored among the local PD that this gentleman was illiterate. Gotta love state jobs.
Wasn’t that the good old “Department of Mental Retardation” police out at Fernald? Even more funny if it was!
 

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Well as a follow-up for anyone who’s curious, DPH is NOT sworn, at least not in Westfield, although the people on the interview panel apparently insist “well it IS a campus police officer position, just not sworn”.

Maybe if someone worked there and already had a full-time academy, they’d stay SSPO, but it seems like they don’t have any intention of keeping their department as a police agency, except in the name. I won’t even get started on the fact that although I’m not a MA law scholar, I’m 99.999% sure you can’t call yourself “police” if you’re not, well, the police.
Yes, I’m starting a baseball team, but we’re not going to use any baseballs. It will still be a baseball team, though. 🙄

In all seriousness, that situation is no one’s fault but the legislature and the Governor for passing a law out of emotion, rather than reasoned thought. It would be an enormous cost to rebrand all the cruisers, badges, patches, etc., from “police” to “security” or “public safety”, so it’s just easier & cheaper to keep “police”.

As I said in another post, those positions were always glorified security positions, to begin with. The pay and working conditions suck, so they’re never going to send people to the FT Academy, people would bail for greener pastures ASAP.

I’d be willing to bet that the total number of arrests (actual arrests where the suspect was removed from the facility, booked, held/bailed, then had to appear at an arraignment the next business day) all those agencies made combined in a year could be counted on one hand, with several fingers left over.

Oh, and there’s no law in Massachusetts about calling yourself “police”. The impersonating statute requires affirmative action of police duties (pulling someone over, detaining someone, etc.), just walking (or driving) around with police uniforms or car markings wouldn’t count, although some creative report writing could perhaps justify someone wearing the police uniform of a specific department they don’t belong to, to constitute police action. There are also copyright issues with patches and badges, although those aren’t arrestable.

So, no legal issues with DPH/DMH keeping “police” if they want, it’s just going to posturing and bluffing, and with a straight face, I couldn’t call myself a police officer without a gun or the power of arrest. There’s already a term for that, it’s called “security guard”.
 

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In the distant past, Dartmouth College was patrolled by Campus Police. That was the agency name and was displayed on their shoulder patch. I wrote to the "Proctor" which was the title given to the chief. I asked him about their police powers. He replied that they didn't have police powers "Thank God". I still have the letter all these 30+ years later and it always struck me as bizarre that they used the term (when some schools in the Commonwealth who WERE Police were not allowed to use it-still are to this day {too scary}) and he used the term THANK GOD. Well, at some point, either the school admin became aware that that HORRIBLE FASCIST word was being used, or realized that since they were not cops, they shouldn't be using the term, or the City of Hanover objected or what have you, its now

safety and security emblem
 
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Yes, in Waltham. Yes, I do believe they were the DMR PD. If I remember currently, he was nice enough thou I don’t recall now what the stop was for. Big, older white guy. Said he was the ‘Chief.’ I do remember however, years later, a WPD guy telling me how a number of them were convinced that he literally could not read….or at least maybe could barley read. Also something about them getting ticket books taken away. I miss that place :(
 

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If he’s looking to be a Cop in MA, it’s probably worth taking the job just to start his clock. Might turn out to mostly just be a security job, but when he’s retirement age he’ll be glad he took it.
POST is going to be a shitshow for everyone. I’d imagine DPH guys who are already SSPO and have a reserve academy can do bridge, so they can probably stay sworn that way. I don’t necessarily see DPH being willing to send a new hire to a full time MPOC so the new guys could very well be security
 

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It came down last week from MPTC / POST that SSPOs from DMH / DPH and DDS are not eligible to bridge because of how the law is written. There is no full time academy option. The heads of those agencies and secretariat that oversees them have never been interested in having police so that suits them just fine.
Interesting. These folks are definitely police and law enforcement by statute. The few that have SSPO warrants and obviously full time have the Bridge academy eligibility ticket punched. Sounds more like some arbitrary MPTC "trimming the fat".
 
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