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May 29, 2024 Rain | 67°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 3: Powers and duties of the commission

Section 3. (a) The commission shall have all powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate its purposes, including, but not limited to, the power to:

(1) act as the primary civil enforcement agency for violations of this chapter;

(2) establish, jointly with the municipal police training committee established in section 116 of chapter 6, minimum officer certification standards pursuant to section 4;

(3) certify qualified applicants;

(4) deny an application or limit, condition, restrict, revoke or suspend a certification, or fine a person certified for any cause that the commission deems reasonable;

(5) receive complaints from any source and preserve all complaints and reports filed with the commission for the appropriate period of time;

(6) establish, in consultation with the municipal police training committee established in section 116 of chapter 6, minimum agency certification standards pursuant to section 5;

(7) certify qualified agencies;

(8) withhold, suspend or revoke certification of agencies;

(9) conduct audits and investigations pursuant to section 8;

(10) appoint officers and approve employees to be hired by the executive director;

(11) establish and amend a plan of organization that it considers expedient;

(12) execute all instruments necessary or convenient for accomplishing the purposes of this chapter;

(13) enter into agreements or other transactions with a person, including, but not limited to, a public entity or other governmental instrumentality or authority in connection with its powers and duties under this chapter;

(14) appear on its own behalf before boards, commissions, departments or other agencies of municipal, state or federal government;

(15) apply for and accept subventions, grants, loans, advances and contributions of money, property, labor or other things of value from any source, to be held, used and applied for its purposes;

(16) provide and pay for advisory services and technical assistance as may be necessary in its judgment to carry out this chapter and fix the compensation of persons providing such services or assistance;

(17) prepare, publish and distribute, with or without charge as the commission may determine, such studies, reports, bulletins and other materials as the commission considers appropriate;

(18) gather facts and information applicable to the commission's obligation to issue, suspend or revoke certifications for: (i) a violation of this chapter or any regulation adopted by the commission; (ii) a willful violation of an order of the commission; (iii) the conviction of a criminal offense; or (iv) the violation of any other offense which would disqualify a person from being certified;

(19) conduct investigations into the qualifications of all applicants for certification;

(20) request and receive from the state police, the department of criminal justice information services or other criminal justice agencies, including, but not limited to, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the federal Internal Revenue Service, such criminal offender record information relating to the administration and enforcement of this chapter;

(21) demand access to and inspect, examine, photocopy and audit all papers, books and records of any law enforcement agency;

(22) levy and collect assessments, fees and fines and impose penalties and sanctions for a violation of this chapter or any regulations promulgated by the commission;

(23) restrict, suspend or revoke certifications issued under this chapter;

(24) conduct adjudicatory proceedings in accordance with chapter 30A;

(25) refer cases for criminal prosecution to the appropriate federal, state or local authorities;

(26) issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses at any place within the commonwealth, administer oaths and require testimony under oath before the commission in the course of an investigation or hearing conducted under this chapter;

(27) maintain an official internet website for the commission;

(28) adopt, amend or repeal regulations in accordance with chapter 30A for the implementation, administration and enforcement of this chapter, including, but not limited to, regulations: (i) governing the conduct of proceedings hereunder; (ii) determining whether an applicant has met the standards for certification; (iii) establishing minimum standards for internal agency review of complaints of officer-involved injuries or deaths and recommendations to the commission regarding retraining, suspension or revocation of officer certification to ensure consistency across agencies; (iv) establishing a physical and psychological fitness evaluation pursuant to section 4 that measures said fitness to ensure officers are able to perform essential job duties; and (v) identifying patterns of unprofessional police conduct, including, but not limited to, patterns of: (A) escalating behavior that may lead to the use of excessive force or conduct that is biased on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, mental or physical disability, immigration status or socioeconomic or professional level; (B) an increase in the frequency of complaints regarding an individual officer or agency; or (C) the number of complaints regarding an officer or agency that are at least 1 standard deviation above the mean for similarly situated officers or agencies for a defined period; and

(29) refer patterns of racial profiling or the mishandling of complaints of unprofessional police conduct by a law enforcement agency for investigation and possible prosecution to the attorney general or the appropriate federal, state or local authorities; provided, however, that if the attorney general has reasonable cause to believe that such a pattern exists based on information received from any other source, the attorney general may bring a civil action for injunctive or other appropriate equitable and declaratory relief to eliminate the pattern or practice.

(b) The commission shall have the power to issue a specialized certification for an individual acting, or intending to act, as a school resource officer, as defined in section 37P of chapter 71; provided, however, that a person shall not be appointed as a school resource officer, as defined in said section 37P of said chapter 71, unless specially certified as such by the commission.