Police reform bill passed by state House and Senate, awaits Baker’s review

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Both houses of the state legislatures passed a police reform bill Tuesday and now it sits on Governor Baker’s desk.

If passed by the Governor, this bill would create a new oversight panel responsible for licensing all law enforcement officers in Massachusetts every three years. This bill would also put limits on the use of force including tactics like chokeholds.

The oversight panel would include an independent civilian-led commission for certification, training and decertification of police officers.

The legislation passed in the State Senate by a 28-12 vote and approved by a 92-67 vote in the House of Representatives.

22News spoke with State Representative Carlos Gonzalez who participated in the private negotiations of the bill, “The 1 percent of the bad officers that have tarnished the badge. This bill is against them. To the 99 percent of the good officers, we salute you and this bill will help support you.”

Baker said he is glad that the legislation moved forward on this, but he can’t speak to the specifics until he has a chance to review it. Baker now has the option to sign the bill, veto it, or return it with amendments that the legislature would then have to consider.

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