• New proposal on the table to generate more money for local police training

    By: Robert Goulston

    Updated:

    Funding police training can be expensive, but it's necessary for departments across the state.

    Now, one idea being considered on Beacon Hill is getting renewed attention in the aftermath of Sgt. Sean Gannon's death.

    A passionate plea was made by Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson right after his officer, Sergeant Sean Gannon, was murdered while doing a warrant last week.

    MORE: Fallen Yarmouth Officer Sean Gannon laid to rest as sergeant

    "Chief Frederickson was spot on. Because of his assessment and I think you are dealing with someone who is dealing with the direct impact on his operation and his department," said Dudley Police Chief Steven Wojnar, President of Mass. Chiefs of Police Association.  

    Wojnar says there is a proposal in the House budget to create a direct funding source for local police training by adding a $2 assessment on all vehicle rentals, including moving trucks.

    "So if you are looking at renting a car for the day, for a month, for a week. Two dollars and that would go directly to municipal police training," said Wojnar. 

    Chief Brian Kyes of Chelsea came up with the idea originally after seeing charges on his car rental while in California. It did not pass last year at the State House, but is gaining support this year.

    The Chiefs Association believes about $10 million is needed per year to provide sufficient training; the state usually allocates around $5 million. They believe this legislation would generate $7-8 million which would free up some of the state money they currently rely on. 

    State Representative Tim Whelan, who wrote one form of the legislation, told us on the phone these officers have so many demands on them.

    "What they should demand in return is that we make the investment in them, in their training and keeping them safe and giving them the tools they need to serve us," said Whelan.

    And the Mass. Chiefs Association says a lot of the training is required by law.

    "If you are going to mandate something that has to take place then you have to fund it," said Wojnar. 

    The legislation right now is an amendment on the House budget, which is still in committee.

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