BOSTON — Massachusetts is one of just a few states that does not require special licenses for police officers, according to the state auditor.
State Rep. Russell Holmes says he’s confident that could change within the next 10 days.
There are some rumblings that it could be fast tracked as early as this week, but Holmes says he doesn’t necessarily want that because he doesn’t want the officers to feel like they are forcing something on them. He wants those officers at the table agreeing with whatever is in the bill because at the end of the day police don’t want bad officers in their group either.
“We would like to see the certification of a license and we also want to see that you can go in and investigate to see if there’s anything that the officer has been reprimanded for,” said Holmes. “That has been major pushback from the unions and many of the patrol officers that they are concerned that we would have too much oversight.”
The bipartisan bill would establish a special commission to provide recommendations for implementing a police officer standard training system. Holmes has been working on the bill for the past half-decade since the death of Tamir Rice in Cleveland. However, over the last couple of weeks, he’s getting a lot more support.
“In the last week the Black & Latino Caucus spoke with the governor,” said Holmes. “We already set up the contacts of the committee the outline and we thought we were going to get it on June First and in the last couple days we have the Speaker, senate president, auditor and governor support, so we will try to get this done in next 10 days.”
The other thing the bill would do is ensure that officers have all had the same standardized training and make it easier to de-certify and remove officers if something were to go wrong.
For a look at what else could potentially be in the bill click here.
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