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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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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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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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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.
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.
 

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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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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.
but it looks like an uphill battle with most sheriffs not interested in providing the training.
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.
 

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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.
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!
 

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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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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!
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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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.
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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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.
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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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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.
 

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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

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.
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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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:
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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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.
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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