Training in Police Reform Bill

S.2963, An Act relative to justice, equity and accountability in law enforcement in the Commonwealth, centralizes oversight of police training and establishes some new training mandates.

Within the newly established Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, a Division of Police Training and Certification is created. This new Division replaces the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC,) and is given oversight over the training of all law enforcement officers, as defined in the bill, centralizing oversight in one entity. The purpose of the Division is to establish uniform policies and standards for the training and certification of all law enforcement officers.

The Division is under the management and control of the Committee on Police Training and Certification (CPTC). The CPTC has nearly identical membership to the MPTC, which it replaces. In recognition of the specialized missions of different of law enforcement officers under its jurisdiction, the CPTC may offer specialized training for these different classes of officers. The CPTC, subject to the approval of the POST Commission, sets policies and standards for law enforcement officer training. Technical changes were made to existing training mandates to ensure their application to all law enforcement officers under the CPTC. In addition to these updates, the bill includes the following new training mandates:

  • Updates the de-escalation and disengagement training section to include de-escalation, mental illness and disability, as well as new training requirements for mass gatherings or protests, and cultural competency. Full Text»
  • New training mandate for school resource officers. Full Text»
  • New training mandates for appropriate interactions with persons on the autism spectrum and those with other intellectual and developmental disabilities. Full Text»
  • New training mandate on the regulation of physical force, new standards for use of force are established by this bill. Full Text»
  • While not a mandate, the bill adds to the training offered by Center for Responsive Training in Crisis Intervention the following: de-escalation tactics and techniques in crisis response situation; institutional and structural racism, implicit bias and the history, legacy and impact of racism in the United States; and best practices for responding to mass gatherings or protests that shall emphasize de-escalation and minimizing the necessity for use of force. Full Text»
  • The bill requires the CPTC to issue guidance on developmentally appropriate de-escalation and disengagement tactics, techniques and procedures and other alternatives to the use of force for minor children. Full Text»
  • The bill requires that the CPTC shall approve police training schools, further it requires that schools offer training for officers to serve in rape prevention and prosecution units; and allows training in the good Samaritan law, and drug overdose. Full Text »
  • New training mandate for law enforcement officers on mental wellness and suicide prevention. Full Text »

In addition to these new mandates, the bill cites to the most of the existing mandates, which are linked below:

… including, but not limited to, the training mandated by sections 116A to 116E, inclusive, and sections 116G to 116J, inclusive, of chapter 6, chapter 22C, section 36C of chapter 40, sections 96B and 97B of chapter 41 and section 24M of chapter 90.

Chapter 6, Section 116A – Domestic violence and sexual violence complaints; basic training course; guidelines for law enforcement response
Chapter 6, Section 116B – Hate crimes; police instruction
Chapter 6, Section 116C – Development and establishment of course on use and application of technology to increase public safety; regional and municipal police training schools
Chapter 6, Section 116D – Protection, care and custody of minors upon arrest of parents or guardians; police instruction
Chapter 6, Section 116E – Development and establishment of course in bicycle safety enforcement
Chapter 6, Section 116G – In-service training program for local law enforcement officials; bias-free policing; de-escalation and disengagement tactics; incidents impacted by mental health or developmental disability issues
Chapter 6, Section 116H [NEW] – School Resource Officers
Chapter 6, Section 116I [NEW] – Appropriate interactions with persons on the autism spectrum and those with other intellectual and developmental disabilities
Chapter 6, Section 116J [NEW] – Regulation of physical force
Chapter 40, Section 36C – Police; training in suicide detection, intervention and prevention
Chapter 41, Section 96B – Police training schools; supervisory training; attendance by persons exercising police powers; wages and expenses; exceptions; removal for failure to attend
Chapter 41, Section 97B – Rape reporting and prosecution units within police departments; training and funding; personnel; retention and preservation of forensic evidence
Chapter 90, Section 24M – Training for law enforcement personnel regarding alcohol-related offenses; alcohol sensitive selective traffic enforcement program