BOSTON – The WBZ I-Team has learned 19 police officers are no longer certified to serve in Massachusetts because of a new effort to boost the public’s trust in law enforcement.
“America and apple pie and ‘Father Knows Best’. You know, kids wanted to grow up to be cowboys and police officers, not so much anymore,” said police reform advocate Jamarhl Crawford. He was talking about the public’s distrust in law enforcement, which Crawford says is an issue he’s been tackling in Boston for decades.
Finally, now prompted by the public outcry over high-profile police brutality cases across the country, comes hope for a solution in Massachusetts. The Peace Officer Standards and Training, also known as the POST Commission, was tasked by the state legislature a couple years ago to background-check every officer in the state. The commission is doing something Massachusetts has never formally done before, officially certifying all police here.
The agency also has to create an online database where ordinary citizens can look up any officer’s record. “I imagine initially, the ability for someone to type up a name and see fundamentally some disciplinary history and certification status,” said POST Executive Director Enrique Zuniga.