BOSTON (WWLP) – In a move for more public accountability, police officers’ certification will be made publicly available soon.
Massachusetts residents will soon be able to go online to check the status of most of the state’s police officers. In 2020, Baker signed into law a landmark police reform law that created the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST Commission.
The commission operates independently and has the power to establish policing standards, certify police officers, investigate misconduct allegations, and suspend or revoke the certification of officers found to have violated the commission’s standards. The reform law also called for a publicly available online portal with law enforcement officer records.
Under the first round of the process, a majority of officers whose last names begin with A through H became recertified. Of the 8,846 officers in the pool, 8,322 were recertified and another 269 were conditionally certified.
Officers will be recertified on a rolling basis. The POST Commission believes this will help with public relations.
“The notion of a public database to look at people’s status, disciplinary history, for example, I would say is greatly in the realm of enhancing public confidence in some of the work that that local law enforcement, as well as the post commission, does,” said Enrique Zuniga, the Executive Director of POST Commission.
Most denials for recertification were for unrelated job performance matters like medical, military, or family leave. The database will be available to the public within the coming weeks. The public will also now be able to file complaints against police officers online through a new portal that POST launched recently.