BOSTON (SHNS) – A former Massachusetts Superior Court judge selected by Gov. Charlie Baker will head up the state’s brand new commission tasked with certifying and holding police officers accountable.
The state’s top executive and law enforcement official made public on Thursday their picks to the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. The state’s new policing reform law required Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey to appoint members to the POST Commission by April 1.
The nine-member commission is one of the central parts of the reform law Baker signed at the end of December. Lawmakers have previously said it is the only civilian-led entity with the power to craft policing standards, certify law enforcement officers, and revoke officers’ certifications if they violate those standards.
In a joint press release from Baker and Healey, their offices said the Commission would be responsible for investigating and adjudicating claims of misconduct, maintaining databases of training, certification, employment and internal affairs records for all officers, and certifying law enforcement agencies.
“By creating a central entity to oversee officer certification, the Commission will ensure that those officers’ training and misconduct records are available both to the Commission and to those officers’ current and future employers, improving accountability,” the offices said.
Baker selected former Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Margaret Hinkle to serve as chair of the commission. Margaret Hinkle served as justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court from 1993 to 2011 and after she retired, worked as an alternative dispute resolution professional for JAMS, a private alternative dispute resolution provider
“By establishing a Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, the commonwealth is taking an important step to improve public safety and increase trust between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Baker said in a statement. “We are pleased to appoint a diverse range of experts to the POST Commission, and look forward to their work to create a more effective, just and accountable law enforcement system in Massachusetts.”
Each commissioner can serve up to five years or until a successor is appointed, according to the law, and no commissioner can serve more than 10 years. The rest of the commissioners, including biographical information provided by the governor’s office, are as follows:
– Margaret Hinkle served as justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court from 1993 to 2011 and after she retired, worked as an alternative dispute resolution professional for JAMS, a private alternative dispute resolution provider. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Hinkle worked as Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston on the Economic Crimes Unit from 1989 to 1993. In 1991, former Gov. William Weld nominated Hinkle to serve on the Superior Court. She also worked as director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s New England Bank Fraud Task Force from 1992 to 1993. In 2008, she succeeded Judge Ralph Gants as the Administrative Justice of the Superior Court’s Business Litigation Section. She started her legal career as a law clerk for Boston’s U.S. District Court Chief Judge Andrew Caffrey, a position she held from 1977 until 1978. Hinkle transitioned to private practice from 1978 to 1989, working for Goodwin, Procter & Hoar. Hinkle earned her juris doctorate from Boston College Law School, and her bachelor’s degree from College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota.
– Michael Wynn served as chief of Pittsfield Police Department since 2007 after working as patrol officer, shift supervisor, shift commander, and administrative captain at the department. He also worked as a staff instructor for Springfield’s Municipal Police Training Committee from 2001 to 2007 and served as a leadership fellow with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Leadership Development Unit, where he earned a certification as a DEA tactical instructor. Since last year, Wynn has worked with the National Leadership Council of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a non-profit promoting bipartisan solutions to reducing crimes and helping children succeed. He earned a master’s in criminal justice from Ann Maria College and a bachelor’s degree from William’s College.
– Charlene Luma, a licensed social worker, serves as the chief of the Victim Witness Assistance Program for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, where she provides crisis assessment, supportive counseling, information, and referrals to victims, witnesses, and their families. Before joining the Suffolk DA’s office, she worked at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston. She also worked as a program director for Boston Trauma Response from 2015 until 2019. She earned both her master’s of social work and her bachelor’s degree from Boston College.
Attorney General’s Appointees
– Lawrence Calderone serves as chair and president of the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Policy Group and president of the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association. He has worked as a Boston police officer since 1994 in Roxbury and Mattapan with the Special Operations Motorcycle Unit and SWAT Team. Calderone is currently assigned to West Roxbury. He has worked with the BPPA for over 20 years and previously served as its legislative director. A Jamaica Plain native, Calderone earned his master’s in law enforcement from Western New England University, a graduate degree in public administration from Suffolk University, and his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Western New England University.
– Larry Ellison has worked as a detective in Boston Police Department’s School Unit since 2005. He started working as an officer in Boston in 1983, working as detective in the Narcotics Division and a detective in the Brighton district. Ellison previously served as the president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement OFficers from 2010 until 2018 where he advocated for more officers of color in higher-ranking positions, according to the governor’s office. In 2016, the Boston Celtics awarded him the “Heroes Among Us Award.” He earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Northeastern University.
– Marsha Kazarosian has been working as a trial attorney in Massachusetts since 1982 and is currently a partner at Kazarosian Costello LLP where she focuses on civil rights law, discrimination cases, and police misconduct cases. She is a past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, and Essex County Bar Association. She currently co-chairs the Civil Rights and Social Justice Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association. Kazarosian began her career as a criminal defense attorney with the Essex County Bar Advocates and was later appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court to serve on the Board of Bar Overseers and the Advisory Committee on Ethical Opinions for Clerks of the Court — roles she still serves in. Kazarosian earned her juris doctorate from Suffolk University Law School and a bachelorâ€™s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Governor and Attorney General Joint Appointees
– Dr. Hanya Bluestone, a licensed psychologist, serves as CEO of Labyrinth Psychological Services, a position she has held since 2016. Bluestone, according to the governor’s office, specializes in trauma and behavioral medicine treatments. Before working at Labyrinth, she worked in the Department of Mental Health for nine years where she conducted mental health and substance abuse evaluations, testifying in district and superior courts, and offering clinical consultations to families, probations, and judges. She began as a forensic psychology fellow at UMass Medical Center and Bridgewater State Hospital before transitioning to director of clinical services for The Devereux Center. She also served as a forensic psychologist for Worcester and Fitchburg’s Center for Health and Development. Since 2013, she has worked as an affiliate professor at UMass Medical School. Bluestone earned her PhD in clinical psychology and her master’s of clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Fresno, and her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.
– Clementina ChÃ©ry, an ordained senior chaplain, is the co-founder and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which focuses on healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by homicide, trauma, grief, and loss. The center is named after her son, Louis, who was killed in the crossfire of a 1993 shootout, according to the governor’s office. “Chaplain ChÃ©ry is a recognized expert on best practices in the field of homicide response, and has extensive experience training public health professionals and law enforcement officials to better serve families impacted by murder and interrupt cycles of retaliatory violence,” the governor’s office said. She convened the first Homicide Response Briefing in Massachusetts for over 100 law enforcement officials in the state and was chosen as a Barr Fellow in 2017. The National Association of Social Workers named her “Citizen of the Year” in 2011. ChÃ©ry holds honorary doctorate degrees from College of the Holy Cross, Regis College, and Mount Ida College.
– Kimberly West is a partner at Boston’s Ashcroft Law Firm, a position she has held since 2019, where she represents clients in investigations involving federal and state agencies. Before entering private practice West worked as the Massachusetts attorney general’s criminal bureau chief for four years where she led a team of 120 attorneys, support staff, and state police. She also worked for two years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Boston U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Health Care Fraud Unit. For five years, she worked as a trial attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, Netherlands. She earned her juris doctorate from Suffolk University, and her bachelor’s degree from Boston College.