Save Volunteer and Part-Time Police Officers in Massachusetts

Save Volunteer and Part-Time Police Officers in Massachusetts

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!

Prior to the Police Reform Act, signed into law in December 2020, volunteer (Auxiliary) and part-time police officers (collectively Reserve Officers) were able to be trained to work under reserve police officer training standards as established by the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC).

The Police Reform Act directed the MPTC to determine the additional training that currently serving Reserve Officers would need prior to their recertification. 

The MPTC has determined a course of study for currently serving Reserve Officers that includes 96 hours of on-line training, 120 hours of hands-on training equally divided between Emergency Vehicular Operation Course, Defensive Tactics and Firearms Training, and 4 hours of testing. A total of 220 hours of additional training will be required to provide training equivalent to the training received by full-time officers.

The 220 hours of additional training is welcomed by Massachusetts Reserve Police Officers. The additional training is NOT the issue!

The problem, and reason for this petition, is that the MPTC has established a series of exclusionary hurdles that Reserve Police Officers would need to achieve that have nothing to do with the required 220 hours of additional training. The MPTC has made it impossible for most Reserve Officers to complete the additional training.

Exclusionary hurdles established by the MPTC:

1. Hands-on (in person) training is only available during normal business hours (update 12/16/21 - with the exception of 2 of 74 available classes). Historically reserve police training has been conducted during nights and weekends when these committed members of the community are available to be trained.

2. A new hire medical physical examination has been made a training entry requirement for recertification of Reserve Officers already serving their communities.

3. Arbitrary experience hours have been established: 2,400 hours with powers of arrest over a 5 year period (23.5% full time equivalent)  to avoid the need to take a full-time academy following completion of the required additional training.

  • Many volunteer officers do not have arrest authority, and would therefore be excluded.
  • Many part-time officers do not work the number of shifts needed to meet this arbitrary requirement.

4. The MPTC retains the sole authority to arbitrarily require Reserve Officers, who have successfully completed the 220 hours of additional training, to also attend a full-time academy to continue serving their communities.

Community Impact of these actions:

  • There will be a shortage of police officers to answer calls for service in many small and rural communities in Massachusetts putting a strain on remaining full-time officers and the Massachusetts State Police.
  • Community and non-profit fund raising events will need to pay for police resources that have been provided by volunteer officers. Large scale events will have trouble finding adequate public safety staffing. 
  • Volunteer and part-time police officers have been the number one source of full-time officer hires. Agencies have an opportunity to work with these individuals prior to extending full-time offers. This candidate pipeline will no longer exist. 
  • The current ready reserve of trained officers in times of civil and natural disasters will no longer exist. 
  • Up to 3,000 Reserve Officers, dedicated members of the community, will be forced into early retirement in the most difficult time for police officer recruiting on record. These are good people, doing good things, for good reasons, and the MPTC is making it impossible for them to continue to proudly serve their communities.

Our request of Governor Baker:

We respectfully request that Massachusetts Reserve Police Officers, previously trained to reserve police officer standards, be allowed to successfully complete the additional 220 hours of required training and retain their certification as police officers under the Police Reform Act, by removing the exclusionary hurdles, and making the training and testing available during nights and weekends.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!