Public Safety and Emergency ResponseWebinarPublication Date: Dec 07, 2022

The MMA held a webinar to discuss common themes of policing reform, as well as the charge of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission.

The policing reform law signed two years ago and rules subsequently developed by the POST Commission aim to enhance the oversight, regulation and training obligations of local police officers and departments as the state moves to improve accountability for policing practices.

Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn, also a POST commissioner, opened the session by reviewing the primary objectives of policing reform. He emphasized the importance of improving standards for training and policing, as well as ensuring accountability when officers are accused of misconduct. Wynn explained how installing mechanisms to suspend, retrain, and/or remove officers from law enforcement following the misuse of force enhances trust between police and the communities they serve.

The primary charge of the POST Commission is to develop certification standards for officers and agencies in partnership with the Municipal Police Training Committee. Wynn discussed how a range of authority and diverse membership perspectives are essential to the commission’s organizational structure.

Enrique Zuniga, executive director of the POST Commission, outlined certification requirements and information that must be submitted to POST when seeking appeals or re-certifications. The POST Commission will investigate complaints submitted by police personnel or by the public via an online form. Complaints that allege bias, excessive force or a lack of professionalism, among other issues, fall under the commission’s jurisdiction. Law enforcement agencies can submit disciplinary records and certification documents online.

Zuniga reviewed key provisions for appointing authorities and discussed the commission’s upcoming priorities, which include new developments in standards, certifications and technology.

The webinar concluded with 25 minutes of questions and answers, moderated by MMA Legislative Director Dave Koffman. Inquiries about re-certifying officers, conducting appeal investigations, and the commission’s process for decision making were addressed.

Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST): What Municipalities Need to Know presentation (300K PDF)