Blog

NEPBA Welcomes back Law Enforcement Torch Run International Conference

After a two-year hiatus, the Law enforcement Torch Run International Conference came back for 2022. From November 3rd to the 5th Law enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Executive Boards from around the world came together to celebrate the successes of their law enforcement officers and athletes, who continue to benefit from the sporting opportunities that everyone’s hard work and compassion have provided.

The New England Police Benevolent had a number of members in attendance. Below is a photo taken of the Special Olympics Massachusetts team with NEPBA members Lt. Larry “LJ” Jedrey of Everett Superiors and Ofc. Andy Larose of Marlborough Police Department. Also, in attendance was Executive Vice President Christopher Hoar and Ofc. Tyler Seeley of the Sabattus Police Department.

Thank you all for your continued dedication and continued commitment to make a difference in the world through the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics. Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony of local competitions, and into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional and World Games. Annually, more than 100,000 dedicated and compassionate law enforcement members carry the “Flame of Hope,” symbolizing courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe.

The LETR engages law enforcement worldwide championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities, starting first with their own communities.

A Letter to Governor Baker in response for not accepting recent police promotional exams

 

 

To Hon. Gov. Baker:

As you know, the Commonwealth’s Human Resources Division this week notified police officers statewide that it will not score their recent promotional exams, nor will it move forward with upcoming scheduled promotional exams. This is unacceptable. As you surely know, police agencies across our Commonwealth are currently in a staffing crisis – with officers and supervisors dealing with daily forced overtime and shift shortages. This latest state level decision exacerbates this crisis and will further erode the already critically low morale of police officers, given recent state-imposed changes to their working conditions. On behalf of NEPBA’s members, I write to implore you to take swift action to mitigate the impact of this very damaging HRD directive.

The NEPBA represents police and support personnel in more than 120 bargaining units
across our State. Our members who are affected by this latest HRD action span the Commonwealth – they are from both large and small departments in Western, Central and Eastern Massachusetts Police Departments, all the way to the tip of Cape Cod. They are law enforcement working for our UMASS system and Boston School system protecting our students and university communities. 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.

The HRD decision, which effectively throws into the trash heap the countless hours and thousands of dollars spent preparing for the State mandated

DOWNLOAD

promotional exams, impacts officers of all racial backgrounds, and officers with diverse national origins. Officers from all such backgrounds are impacted by the HRD decision to ignore their hard work. Refunding a test fee will not make up for that loss. The Tatum decision ruled that the Commonwealth was very aware of its actions – and given that knowledge, the Commonwealth, at a minimum, should create a fund to reimburse all officers for money spent on preparation courses, study aids, etc. Not allowing for these consequential damages will only serve to cause further damage to qualified officers of all national backgrounds who studied to be successful on the Commonwealth’s required examinations. This, of course, pales in comparison to the loss of the promotional opportunity but would at least be a good faith effort should you not direct that the recently completed exams be scored.

The NEPBA objects to the “sledgehammer” solution of wiping out an entire test, already completed, which even the Court acknowledged will produce qualified candidates. We urge you to reconsider that decision, and explore ways to use a targeted, “scalpel” approach that will not add to the officers’ existing perceptions that our state leadership simply does not care about them. We demand you take action to reinstate and score the recently concluded exam, and if not, to at least compensate the officer for their exam related expenses. The priceless time away from their families , as is often the case with police officers, is surely something that they will never get back.

 

 

Court rules that Civil Service Promotional Exam (HRD) has discriminatory impact

Late yesterday, the Commonwealth’s Human Resources Division sent notice that it will not score the recently completed police promotional exams, nor will it be giving certain upcoming public safety promotional exams. It comes as no surprise that this alarmed many within the Massachusetts’ public safety community. The situation and its ripple effect is not yet clear. We expect more information in the coming days and weeks.The decision is the result of a late October Superior Court ruling in Tatum et al v. Commonwealth of Mass HRDThe full 75-page ruling is attached below. In large part, the decision contains a statistical analysis of how, according to the court, the promotional exam unfairly impacts minority communities. The case was a class action brought by individuals employed in many cities and towns, and is part of litigation dating back to 2005. Several exam periods were examined (2005 – 2012). This ruling – the first phase of the trial – determined that the Commonwealth interfered with the right to be considered for promotion without regard to race or national origin, and that the Commonwealth was aware for many years that it was perpetuating a “discriminatory system” and failed to take steps to fix it.
The case was decided by a single superior court judge during a bench trial.  He found, among other things, that
  • the multiple choice format was not related to a sergeant’s job duties;
  • the memorization format had a discriminatory impact on minorities;
  • the Education and Experience weighted component was not justified;
  • that better alternatives were available, such as fewer test questions, removal of memorization format, smaller reading lists, making the test “pass-fail”; banding scores, assessment centers, and interviews, etc.
The case will now proceed to the remedy phase, which according to the court must address the “deep seated illegality in the testing format by HRD at least for the 2006, 06, 07, 08, 2010 and 2012 exams.”  The court did, however, suggest that promotions that have been already made will not be affected.
HRD has indicated that it will refund the testing fees for those impacted.  It remains unclear what other damages will result from the decision.  Obviously many individuals have spent money and time well beyond just the test fees, and we are analyzing that issue as well and will update accordingly. What is next for the promotion process is unknown.  Importantly, any changes to the process, its criteria, use of assessment centers, etc. are generally mandatory subjects of bargaining, and unions have rights under GL c. 150E with regard to such changes.
For those interested, the actual full decision is attached CLICK HERE