Certification conditional for 740 Massachusetts law enforcement officers



Colin A. Young

About 740 law enforcement officers around Massachusetts have been conditionally recertified but many will need to take some type of action in the next 90 days in order to finalize that approval, the executive director of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission said Tuesday.

The POST Commission on July 1 sent out 6,309 individualized letters to officers with last names starting with the letters A through H whose statutory certification expired on June 30. Executive Director Enrique Zuniga told commissioners Tuesday that about 740 officers were told they were being “conditionally certified,” mostly because of “technical exceptions” like an out-of-date CPR certification or not having met the basic training requirements.

“That applies to a lot of part-time officers or reserve officers that never went to the academy and were given an opportunity as part of the process of police reform to attend the Bridge Academy,” which has different in-service work requirements, Zuniga said. He said the materials submitted to the commission showed “that there is enough data validation that we need to do in this regard … to make sure that the officers that were attending the Bridge Academy and maybe didn’t complete it, that we address them in some way.”

A memo from Zuniga to the commissioners indicated that the POST Commission issued 21 certification letters to officers who were attending the Bridge Academy at the time their agency submitted information to POST but were dismissed or withdrew from the academy. “As such, POST will issue a correction letter advising that these individuals are not recertified,” the memo states. “There’s, of course, about 5,800 individuals who have been certified and we can be, as I reported before, reasonably assured and highly confident that they have met all the requirements of the statute,” Zuniga said.

The law that created the POST Commission certified all officers who completed training by July 1, 2021 and set out a three-year cycle of recertification based on each officer’s last name. All law enforcement officers with last names starting with letters A through H were to be recertified by July 1, 2022. Without that certification, a person cannot be hired or employed as a law enforcement officer in Massachusetts and Zuniga had previously said that there were seven officers who were not be approved for recertification.

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