Deceember 11, 2023
Submitted electronically to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Chairman Walter Timilty, Chairman Carlos Gonzalez and Members of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee,
Please accept this letter as my written testimony in support of:
HB2344 – An Act providing for greater police transparency READ HB 2344 HERE
The NEPBA represents police, Correction officers and support personnel in more than 120 bargaining units across our State. Our members span the Commonwealth – they are from both large and small departments in Western, Southeastern, Central and Eastern Massachusetts Police Departments, all the way to the tip of Cape Cod. They are law enforcement working for our Mass Port Authority Police Department, protecting our vital passenger and cargo infrastructure, as well as our UMASS police, protecting our students and education communities.
The NEPBA family also includes very professional and vital emergency telecommunicators, as well as hard-working corrections officers and civilian staff in Middlesex County, Worcester County and Norfolk County, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Corrections’ Captains. Our locals represent the best of Massachusetts’ working families. I write to you on behalf of these members, and on behalf of those working families.
Although we support some of the data collection mandates in HB2344 and civil liability for those who intentionally summon a law enforcement officer without a valid reason and based on discriminatory beliefs, we strongly oppose SECTION 11 which amends Section 134 of Chapter 41 of the General Laws by adding the following section: A police officer or firefighter in a city or town shall complete 10 hours of community service per month within the community as determined by the chief.
The spirit behind requiring police officers and firefighters to perform 10 hours of community service per month which amounts to a career long sentence of community service that no criminal court would issue, is punitive, misguided and a total abrogation of collective bargaining rights and protections.
And, quite frankly, police officers and firefighters serve the community every hour of every day that they are on duty.
For these reasons, we ask that this committee vote these bills out ought not to pass.
Gerald J. Flynn, Executive Director
New England Police Benevolent Association