Continuing education and recertification is required in many professions. It is an integral component to maintain effectiveness and currency. Most states in the U.S. require peace officers to recertify and maintain standards; Massachusetts is not one of those states.
In 2008, a recommendation was made to move Massachusetts towards a Peace Officer Standards & Training (POST) system. The recommendation was presented by the Special Commission on Massachusetts Police Training established under Chapter 3 of the Resolves of 2008, and later endorsed by the Special Commission on Sheriffs established under Section 22 of Chapter 61 of the Acts of 2009.
Boston State Representative Russell Holmes and I filed legislation based on the 2010 Special Commission on Massachusetts Police Training report which would create what we refer to as a “Pathway to POST.” H.2192 is a resolve establishing a special commission with broad-based law enforcement involvement, both law enforcement managers and unions, to write specific legislation intended to create the POST system in the Commonwealth. We believe this process is important in order to create a POST system bill that has broad support for adoption.
The special commission would recommend the necessary language to create a state entity known as the POST Commission, and also evaluate and recommend dedicated funding mechanisms to support POST implementation. The POST Commission when established in state law would be dedicated to setting standards for hiring, training, ethical conduct, and the retention of all law enforcement officers within Massachusetts.
Recertification is required in many professions and it is time that this process is implemented among those tasked with keeping the peace within our state. When established, the special commission proposed by H.2192 will provide the mechanism to draft POST legislation. We owe it to our law enforcement officials, to invest in training and the funding necessary to conduct that training. Such an investment will help protect the safety of our law enforcement officials, while at the same time protect the general public by having the best trained and prepared law enforcement community possible.
Representative David Vieira (R-3rd Barnstable) is a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives