Police oversight agency reports on officer recertifications


State House News Service

Published: 07-13-2023 8:27 AM

BOSTON — The deadline for the second round of law enforcement officer recertification passed about two weeks ago and the executive director of the state’s police certification agency reported Wednesday that things went “very smoothly” and that most officers are on track to be recertified.

The Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission expected that 6,406 officers would be required to submit for recertification by June 30 based on the first letter of their last name and Executive Director Enrique Zuniga said Wednesday that the commission received information on 5,609 of those officers as of July 7. Another 240 officers work for agencies that were granted an extension, leaving as many as 557 officers for whom the POST Commission does not have the necessary information.

Of the 5,609 officers that the POST Commission has information on, Zuniga’s presentation said that 5,269 or more than 82% are slated to be certified, 272 or 4.2% are on track to be conditionally certified (meaning their licensure comes with additional training or documentation requirements) and there are 68 officers who require additional commission review. Without certification from the POST Commission, a person cannot be hired or work as a law enforcement officer in Massachusetts.

“In the coming weeks, I will be reporting on the final outcomes of these numbers. Having said that, much like last year, the large majority of individuals would be or appear to be in compliance with all of the requirements of the statute. And what merits our attention and follow-up ... are those small numbers of people that are slated to be conditionally certified or are requiring further review,” Zuniga said.

The policing reform 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. Law enforcement officers with last names starting with letters A through H went through their initial recertification last summer, and those with names starting with letters Q through Z are to submit to recertification by July 1, 2024. Certification is valid for three years.

As of May 4, there were 9,760 officers certified by the POST Commission, 245 officers with last names starting with letters A through H that were not certified, two officers with last names starting between A and H on administrative suspension, and as of June 20 there were 35 officers suspended for having been arrested, charged or indicted for a felony.