BOSTON (SHNS) – Eight more Massachusetts police officers did not earn recertification from the state’s police oversight panel, pushing the total number of those rejected to 15 out of more than 8,800 who have or are expected to submit paperwork.
In the latest update about the first round of recertification under a new police reform law, Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission Executive Director Enrique Zuniga said Thursday that 6,856 officers will secure a three-year certification. Another 835 will be conditionally certified, meaning their licensure comes with additional training or documentation requirements that must be completed typically within 90 days, and 51 others are subject to “further review.”
A bit more than 1,000 are pending due to extensions their agencies sought, the majority of which work for the Boston Police Department. Fifteen officers will not be certified as of Aug. 1, Zuniga said, an increase over the seven that faced rejection in a summary he initially provided one day before the July 1 recertification deadline. Failing to earn recertification does not automatically mean they will be barred from the job, however, because they can seek a review within 21 days.
“The 15 individuals that I mentioned that are not certified have had a letter to that effect,” Zuniga said. “We have begun to get some of these notifications and letters from either the individual or their lawyer as to whether they want to review. That is very much a part of what’s going to keep us busy in the next few months.”
The police reform law that created the commission granted certification to all officers who completed training by July 1, 2021, and it outlined next steps to recertify officers on a three-year cycle based on their last names. Officers with last names starting with letters A through H needed to seek recertification by July 1 of this year to be eligible to work as a law enforcement officer in Massachusetts.