Police recertification rules passed with revised character clause

The state’s new police departments’ accountability board voted Wednesday afternoon to approve regulations that will guide the recertification process for law enforcement officers beginning July 1 after making changes to a section detailing how he will consider good character and be fit for duty as a law enforcement officer. .

Seven members of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission voted to urgently approve the settlement, a different version of which was rejected at a meeting last week, while one commissioner voted against the regulations and one abstained from voting.

The first wave of officers to recertify under a 2020 law designed to bolster state oversight of police officers following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police officers in Minnesota and Kentucky, respectively, should be recertified by July 1, 2022, and the POST Commission has set June 15 as the deadline for all agencies to submit information on these agents. The first group to recertify includes all law enforcement officers whose last names begin with an A through H.

The regulations approved on Wednesday aim to guide the recertification process and detail things such as the application process, conditional certification while an agent’s application is pending, how the POST Commission will communicate changes in the status of certification, agent call options, etc.

At last week’s POST committee meeting, part of the draft regulations defining good character to include things like promoting public confidence in law enforcement, integrity and morality was called a “Scout standard” that went beyond the law of the commission. authority, and this article was modified on Wednesday before the adoption of the regulation.

The original draft rule read: “In assessing good character and fitness for duty, an employing agency may consider whether an officer promotes public confidence in law enforcement and whether the officer currently exhibits character, integrity, candor, candor, reliability, attention to duty, restraint and an appreciation of the distinctions between right and wrong in the conduct of people towards each other.”

What the POST Commission finally adopted on Wednesday reads: “In assessing good character and fitness for duty, an employing agency may consider whether an agent adheres to state and federal laws, acts in accordance recognized standards of ethics and conduct adopted by the employing agency, or as set forth in the Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct for Law Enforcement recently adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and worthy of public trust and the authority vested in law enforcement officers.”

The original language, POST Commission officials said, was based on a court-approved standard of good character for admission to the bar. The adopted language comes from Commissioner Hanya Bluestone, who said she and other commissioners agreed that the standard of police certification should be higher than that of bar admission.

“My view is that each profession has its own set of ethical standards and codes of conduct, and the profession of law enforcement is no exception and, in fact, their standards are higher than those of other professions. ‘other professions, such as for the bar or which psychology, say, would adopt given the recognized authority and responsibility of their role,’ said Bluestone, a psychologist. ‘And so officers are willing to adhere to those codes of conduct and ethical standards as adopted by the IACP.”

The only POST committee member who voted against the settlement on Wednesday was Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association President Larry Calderone, who said during his vote that “there are too many outstanding issues in the settlement.” Larry Ellison, a Boston police detective and former president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, abstained from voting.

During the public comment portion of Wednesday’s meeting, an attorney who represents the Massachusetts Coalition of Police (a group suing the POST Commission) said that the incorporation of the IACP’s code of ethics into the bylaws of the POST Commission was a mistake.

“To put it simply, there is nothing wrong with having something aspirational to say that this is how we expect and want our police officers to behave. But are you really going to say someone is missing of moral character and fitness for the job if he fails to do so, as expected by IACP standards, dedicate themselves before God to their chosen profession? said Patrick Bryant. “Is this the norm that the POST Commission is now saying, that someone who is insufficiently religious, insufficiently servile in this setting, must now be decertified because they lacked good character?”

The Police Reform Act that created the POST Commission certified all officers who completed their training by July 1, 2021 and set out the recertification process the commission is now launching.


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