On December 31, 2020, Massachusetts passed system-wide changes when it enacted MA S. 2963, “An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth.” The legislation, at its core, created both statutory certification and decertification processes through the new Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission.
The law vests the POST Commission with broad powers of oversight over all police officers in the Commonwealth. Prior to its passage, Massachusetts was one of a handful of states without a statewide system. The law grants departments access to personnel information, such as prior conduct and training. The statute requires the POST Commission to create a public database of certified officers, discipline, and revocation orders.
Mandatory Certification, Decertification, Suspension, and Discipline
The POST Commission is comprised of a nine-member, majority civilian board. The POST Commission is tasked with creating a mandatory certification process for police officers to allow them to work in law enforcement in Massachusetts. The POST Commission is also responsible for creating processes for decertification, suspension of certification, or reprimand in the event of specified misconduct.
Officers in Massachusetts must now renew their certification every three years. Massachusetts also added mandatory decertification requirements. The POST Commission must revoke an officer’s certification if an officer is convicted of a felony, obtained their certification through misrepresentation or fraud, and/or had a previous certification revoked by another jurisdiction. The POST Commission may revoke an officer’s certification under a broader array of circumstances including, convictions for misdemeanors, patterns of bias or discrimination, and/or repeatedly sustained internal affairs investigations.
Contact a Massachusetts Employment Law Attorney at Our Firm Today
An individual cannot be employed as a police officer in the Commonwealth, in any capacity, if not certified under the applicable statute and processes. If you, or someone you know, is a police officer in Massachusetts undergoing the certification or recertification process, or experience issues during these processes, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately. It is crucial to connect with the lawyers at Avery Dooley & Noone, LLP for clarification and guidance regarding your certification or recertification as a police officer in Massachusetts. Our firm has experience successfully navigating POST certification requirements. We know how to assess an employee’s case to provide objective, personalized legal guidance, and the support you need at a trying time in your life. To learn more about your rights and our approach to representation, connect with the knowledgeable legal team and support staff at Avery Dooley & Noone, LLP by calling (617) 489-5300 or contacting us online. We look forward to speaking with you.