Response to Senate Police Reform Bill
July 7, 2020
“The Senate bill issued this week includes important, necessary reforms that MassCOP, the largest police union in the State, is committed to support, including a statewide accreditation process for all police departments, a comprehensive process for certifying all police officers in Massachusetts, enhanced standardized training, and a clear, statewide prohibition on the use of excessive force by police officers. A standardized accreditation process for every department across the State is essential in order to carry out any other reforms and changes. It is the backbone for ensuring every officer and department are operating under the same policies as determined by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission. Currently, only 25% of municipal police departments in Massachusetts are accredited. We believe Massachusetts can – and should – do better.
MassCOP supports constructive legislation that brings about positive, productive and impactful reform to policing and the law enforcement profession across the Commonwealth. We will continue to work with the Baker Administration and members of the Legislature, including the Black and Latino Caucus, to achieve this important priority for the citizens of Massachusetts.
As the Senate Bill moves to the House, we will also continue to strongly oppose the removal of basic protections offered to nearly all government workers, including police, in the form of „qualified immunity‟ from civil lawsuits and due process protection. Police officers acting in good faith should not have to worry that any step they take could end in a lawsuit that takes their home and life savings. Additionally, officers should continue to be afforded the protection of due process to ensure fairness and transparency in the workplace. The courts have repeatedly said qualified immunity is „no license to lawless conduct‟ and in no way protects police from prosecution for actual violations of the law.
As the Union representing 4,300 officers and dispatchers throughout Massachusetts, we understand these issues firsthand and look forward to working with the Legislature and the Baker Administration to ensure that this important legislation is created through an open and transparent process.”