Massachusetts Law Enforcement Policy Group* FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Lawrence Calderone (781) 424-6222) John Nelson (978)580-7835
The Senate’s “police reform” legislation unveiled today (S.2800) is a missed opportunity to improve policing in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, rather than focusing on thoughtfully and substantively improving police standards and training, the Senate hastily introduced unvetted legislation without a public hearing or open testimony. S.2800 seems more focused on making a political statement than on making sound, well- reasoned and forward-thinking public policy.
In stark contrast, lawmakers from the Black and Latino Legislative Caucus and the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Policy Group* (MLEPG) have engaged in a productive dialogue and have reached numerous agreements including: the cessation of chokeholds; establishing a uniform duty to intervene and clear prohibition of excessive force; standardized training of procedures and protocols; the creation of an independent body, consisting of both non-law enforcement and law enforcement to enact, enforce and oversee law enforcement legislation, including the accreditation and certification of all law enforcement officials; and the promotion of diversity in policing.
The MLEPG urges the Senate to hold a hearing before voting on such an important and wide-ranging bill. The citizens of the Commonwealth deserve to have their voices heard on these important issues, and to understand the impact of legislation being considered on their behalf. The MLEPG agrees with calls for greater police accountability and enhanced training. However, the Senate’s back-room legislating undermines the very goals they are trying to accomplish and compromises officers’ ability to protect and serve communities across the Commonwealth. The Senate can and should do better for the people of the Commonwealth, including those who protect and serve.
Lawrence Calderone John Nelson
Co-Chair, MLEPG Co-Chair, MLEPG
Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association Massachusetts Coalition of Police
* The MLEPG was created several years ago to serve as a coalition of the Commonwealth’s major police unions and organizations to speak on Law Enforcement legislation and policy.
First Vice President