The final version of the Police Reform Bill that was signed by Governor Baker on December 31, 2020 affords the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement with the opportunity to have input on 3 of the 18 Special Legislation Commissions. The work of these Commissions will help shape the future of law enforcement in the Commonwealth, the types of training police officers receive, when and how body cameras should be utilized and whether there should be a statewide cadet program to further aid in diversifying law enforcement agencies. There is a lot of work to be done and we are honored to have a seat at the table to ensure that the unique perspective that women in law enforcement bring to the field is included in developing these important policies and regulations.
If you are a female officer that is employed full time as a municipal, state or campus police officer and are interested in potentially sitting on one of these 3 Commissions or being part of the MAWLE Police Reform Committee that will report to the MAWLE Executive Board and regularly meet to discuss the progress of the work being done by the Commissions, please send a letter of interest and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 23, 2021. We ask that you take the time to fully understand the level of commitment and provide detail as to what role or level of interest you have specific to the 3 Commissions or the MAWLE Police Reform Committee. All of the women that are appointed to these Commissions and/or the MAWLE Police Reform Committee are required to be active MAWLE members at the time of/and for the duration of their appointment.
The 3 Commissions we have been invited to work on are:
- A 25-member Law Enforcement Body Camera Task Force
- A 21-member Special Legislative Commission to Study the Establishment of a Statewide Law Enforcement Officer Cadet Program
- The 15-member Municipal Police Training Committee
The time commitment required for the Body Camera Task Force and Cadet Program will be short term and will vary. The time commitment required for the MPTC will be a 3-year term and will be at times a more significant commitment including weekly and monthly meetings.
A summary of the mission for each Commission has been included below. For a more detailed description please click on the links below.
Body Camera Task Force Summary
The Executive Offices of Public Safety and Technology Services and Security are to create a 25-member volunteer task force. This task force will be charged with proposing uniform regulations re: the procurement and use of body-worn cameras. Input will be sought from both experts in the field and the general public. There is an established deadline of 7/31/2022 for the approval and adoption of these regulations.
Cadet Program Commission Summary
Establishment of a 21-member Commission to study the establishment of a statewide cadet program has also been mandated. This Commission shall consider several designated factors in formulating their recommendations. This program will create a pool of applicants available to all law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth. Findings and recommendations are due no later than 12/31/2021.
The composition of the committee seats of the MPTC have been established. Each seat will serve a 3-year term. There will also be an appointment of 17 non-voting members who will serve in an advisory capacity. The committee is charged with:
- The development of the policies and standards of training to be delivered
- Establishing policies and standards for academy applicant screening
- Establishing policies and standards for background investigations
- Establishing minimum standards for officer certification
- Establish regulations requiring participation in critical incident stress management and peer support programs for officers
The committee shall also work in conjunction with other identified partners to develop rules and regulations that support the mission of the partnering agency.
We are seeking individuals that are committed to working collaboratively and are truly invested in this important opportunity provided to MAWLE. If you or an officer you know has an interest or expertise in any of these areas, we encourage you to get involved.
Marie C. Cleary