SECTION 1. Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 116C the following section:-
Section 116C½. In addition to the requirements set forth in section 116, in order for a person to qualify for an appointment to a position on a full-time basis in which they will exercise police powers in the commonwealth, said person shall have attained an associate degree from an accredited educational institution in criminal justice or a related field of study, or a field of study approved by the hiring department, office or institution; or shall have matriculated into an established program at a 4-year accredited institution of higher education and have completed 60 or more credits towards a baccalaureate degree in criminal justice or a related field of study, or a field of study approved by the hiring department.
Notwithstanding this section and section 96B of chapter 41, in the case of a municipal police department that employs fewer than 5 full-time police officers, in order to qualify for appointment as a police officer, such person may be assigned to and satisfactorily complete a police academy training as designated by the municipal police training committee or receive a waiver of such training pursuant to regulations promulgated by said committee. Nothing in this paragraph shall limit such municipal police department from providing for additional qualifications for appointment.
SECTION 2. Chapter 6A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after section 18¾ the following section:-
Section 18 7/8. (a) The executive office of public safety and security shall include an office of recruitment of diversity and equal opportunity for municipal police officers, hereinafter referred to as the office, which shall be headed by a director who shall be selected by and serve at the pleasure of the governor. The director shall have the authority to:
(i) Establish guidelines for agency affirmative action and diversity plans for municipalities to recruit diverse candidates for municipal police departments;
(ii) Review all such plans and either approve, return for amendment, or reject them;
(iii) Establish periodic reporting requirements for municipalities concerning the implementation of their plans and all actions taken to ensure compliance with this section and applicable state and federal laws;
(iv) Provide assistance to cities and towns in achieving compliance with their plans and with applicable federal and state laws; and
(v) Monitor and assess the status of municipal compliance and investigate instances of non-compliance.
(b) Each city or town with a municipal police department shall appoint a diversity officer. Diversity officers shall have a direct reporting relationship to the chief executive officer of the municipality. The officers shall also report to the secretary of public safety pursuant to section 23 of chapter 23C. Diversity officers shall coordinate their municipality’s compliance with the requirements of this section and applicable federal and state laws.
(c)All cities and towns shall develop and implement affirmative action and diversity plans to: (i) identify and eliminate discriminatory barriers in their municipal police department; (ii) remedy the effects of past discriminatory practices; (iii) identify, recruit, hire, develop, promote, and retain employees who are members of under-represented groups; and (iv) ensure diversity and equal opportunity in all facets, terms, and conditions of employment for police officers. Such plans shall set forth specific goals and timetables for achievement, shall comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and shall be updated, at a minimum, every 2 years.
(d) Through the diversity officers, and in compliance with the reporting guidelines and requirements established by the office, all municipalities shall submit periodic reports to the director of the office concerning the status and implementation of their affirmative action and diversity plans.
(e) Pursuant to guidelines established by the office, all municipal police department chiefs, managers, supervisors and employees shall attend mandatory annual diversity training. For future hires, such training shall be part of the standardized orientation provided to new employees.
(f) The office shall promulgate guidelines establishing a complaint resolution process for individuals who allege noncompliance by cities and towns with applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination. In instances where this process does not resolve the complaint, the director of the office may refer to the Massachusetts commission against discrimination or any information concerning conduct that the director believes may constitute a violation of the law.
(g) The Massachusetts commission against discrimination shall initiate investigations and, where necessary; file complaints against those agencies and persons whom it has reason to believe are in violation of the laws of the commonwealth or the United States.
(h) In performing their responsibilities under this section, the office and the Massachusetts commission against discrimination shall have the full cooperation of all state agencies and municipalities, including compliance with all requests for information.
(i) The police officer diversity and equal opportunity advisory council, hereinafter the advisory council, is hereby established to advise the office concerning best policies, practices, and specific actions that the commonwealth and its municipalities should implement to ensure that the objectives of this section are accomplished.
The advisory council shall consist of 15 persons, including a chair, each of whom shall be appointed by the governor. All members shall serve without compensation at the pleasure of the governor in a solely advisory capacity. The advisory council's work shall include, but need not be limited to, making written recommendations to office concerning actions, policies, and practices that the commonwealth and its municipalities should implement to ensure that the objectives of this section are accomplished.
The advisory council shall meet at such times and places as determined by the chair and shall submit an initial report containing its written recommendations to the governor no later than 60 days following the appointment of the council's 15 members. Thereafter, the advisory council shall meet at least semi-annually and submit supplemental reports to the governor no less than once per year.
(j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or otherwise limit the continuation or implementation of any lawful affirmative action programs or other programs that support the objectives of this section.
SECTION 3. Section 108L of chapter 41 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “experience”, in line 77, the following words:- ; provided, however, that the board may certify a program granting credits for prior learning experiences in the military or police academy training provided that a regionally accredited institution has granted such credits based on the institution’s evaluation of the person’s knowledge and skills.
SECTION 4. (a) There is hereby established a working group under the supervision of the commissioner of higher education. The working group shall consist of persons appointed by the commissioner, which shall include, but shall not be limited to: criminal justice faculty from public community colleges, state colleges and the University of Massachusetts; representatives from private colleges; and staff from the municipal police training committee.
(b) The working group shall advance collaborations with higher education colleagues and police academy colleagues to develop an assessment policy and related process for evaluating the knowledge and skills learned within police academies that crosswalk to content knowledge in credit-bearing programs and are consistent with an updated version of the board of higher education’s Guidelines for Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Academic Programs Seeking Approval Under the Massachusetts PCIPP Guidelines. The working group shall review the municipal police training committee’s approved police academy curriculum and determine allowable credit for a statewide articulation agreement consistent with revisions to the Policy Career Incentive Pay Program, or PCIPP, Guidelines.
(c) In determining allowable credit for prior learning experiences in the police academy in a statewide articulation agreement, the working group shall utilize the approach to transfer and articulation of credits applied by the Mass Transfer Pathways A2B initiative: faculty with content expertise shall compare the alignment of learning outcomes achieved in police academy coursework and higher education criminal justice program coursework, and determine the appropriate amount of allocation of college credits that have been earned. The working group shall research and determine whether the standard in the PCIPP Guidelines providing that no more than 10 per cent of an associate or baccalaureate degree is completed through knowledge-based examinations should still be applicable, or whether a new proportion for knowledge-based examinations should be applied.
(d) Colleges and universities providing credit for prior learning experiences achieved through police academy training under a statewide articulation agreement shall work with the municipal police training committee to ensure that police academy directors and instructors meet all New England Association of Schools and Colleges Standards for accreditation purposes.
SECTION 5. Section 116C½ of chapter 6 of the General Laws, added by section 1 of this act, shall apply to persons appointed to full-time positions exercising police powers in the commonwealth after the effective date of this act.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect on January 1, 2021.
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