Dear MassCOP Members,
I want to take this opportunity to say thank you again. All of the phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, and Tweets are having an impact on the process. I know you may not see it yet – on TV or in the paper – but we have had an impact on the Bill. All of the contacts you have made with your Representatives and Senators are making a huge difference. The Bill currently being discussed in the legislature is vastly different than the original Bill, and that is due to your efforts and continued advocacy.
Today is day two of the Conference Committee. The Committee is comprised of six legislators (representing the House and the Senate) who will determine the final Bill for vote. The Senate side is comprised of Senators Brownsberger, Chang-Diaz, and Tarr. Representatives Cronin, Gonzalez, and Whelan represent the House. They met yesterday for five hours and it is expected that they will meet today for what will be considered a marathon session.
While all of the other Senators and Representatives will not be in the room, they will be able to pass along information – we want them to let them know that advocacy and communications from law enforcement has not stopped so please keep your outreach efforts going. The general consensus is that the Conference Committee is going to try to complete its work by this Friday.
I know you are all tired of me asking you to continue with the onslaught of communication, but I wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t working. We had 66 representatives support us on Friday with a “no” vote but there are more that need to better understand our message and our issues. After the Conference Committee concludes, whatever language that is presented to the entire legislature will need to be voted on by both the Senate and the House before moving on to Governor Baker.
There are elements of this Bill that are dangerous, for us and for the citizens we protect and defend. We have to continue to speak up and be heard. We need to continue to push for fairness and proper representation on all boards and committees, Qualified Immunity being put into a study made up of experts in the field, Due Process protections, preventing a full ban on chokeholds and instead allowing them to be used if necessary in deadly force situations, and not limit our ability to use force to such an extreme that it will create an inherent danger to the public.
Scott A. Hovsepian