Database of police disciplinary records a step toward transparency, but still ‘more to do’

posted in: Massachusetts, News | 0

A database of police disciplinary records is online with information from 273 law enforcement agencies across the state. STAN GROSSFELD/ GLOBE STAFF/FILE 2020

More than two years after its creation, the state’s police watchdog commission has released its most ambitious initiative yet: a long-awaited database of police disciplinary records that covers thousands of sustained police complaints that span more than four decades.

The Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST, database includes more than 3,400 records of sustained complaints leveled against nearly 2,200 officers including those from local, state, and college agencies. A complaint is considered sustained if an investigation found a “preponderance of evidence to prove the allegation of an act that was determined to be misconduct,” according to POST.

Some complaints listed on the database are relatively minor department infractions, such as parking violations or being absent from work. Others were more serious and included sexual harassment and use of force. Some even led to criminal charges, though the details of those were redacted from the database.

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