An Act relative to public safety on private college and university campuses

Summary

This legislation allows special state police officers appointed by any private college or private university, in connection with the operation of any part of the college or university within the limits of the campuses, to perform police duties under the direction of the commanding officer or the person in charge of such campus or other property. While performing such duties within those limits, the special state police officers shall have the same authorities as duly appointed and qualified Police Officers acting elsewhere in the Commonwealth.


An Act updating hunter harassment laws

Summary

This legislation updates the hunter harassment law by (1) adding prohibitions against verbally or physically harassing, threatening or intimidating individual’s lawfully engaged in fishing and hunting and (2) banning the use of mechanical aerial devices to drive wildlife, harass, film, photograph or otherwise intimidate. The bill also adds penalties and/or fines for violations of this law.


An Act establishing a standing commission on operating under the influence and impaired driving

Summary

This legislation was filed in conjunction with the Cannabis Control Commission, to help the Commonwealth better address the effects of impaired driving. While the mission of the commission would extend to all impaired driving, it includes specific directives regarding the challenges of legalized marijuana. The Commission will be directed to study the emerging scientific and medical tests, as well as considering the civil liberties of the driver, socio-economic impacts of the testing, and the admissibility of evidence in court proceedings.


An Act relative to criminal justice training regarding autistic persons

Summary

This bill would require the Municipal Police Training Committee to develop and implement a curriculum for training police officers in appropriate interactions with persons on the autism spectrum, and develop guidelines for law enforcement response to such individuals. The course would include proper techniques for interviews, locating persons on the spectrum, identifying abusive situations, de-escalation with autistic individuals, and more. The bill would require the training for new recruits and allow the MPTC to include it periodically for in-service training.


An Act establishing a cybersecurity control and review commission

Summary

This bill would establish a standing body to advise the Commonwealth on issues related to cybersecurity. The Commission would be composed of general cybersecurity experts, specific issue experts, and legislative officials. It would be chaired by the Secretary of Technology Safety and Security or his designee. The would be tasked with recommending cybersecurity standards for state and local agencies that collect sensitive information, as well as private businesses contracting with the Commonwealth. They would also establish a voluntary cybersecurity accreditation for private businesses in the commonwealth to encourage good practices by both businesses and consumers.


An Act improving the quality of courthouse security

Summary

This bill would permit court officers to carry firearms, pursuant to their police powers, within the courthouse. As part of the ongoing professionalization of court officers, security officials for the Trial Court plan to authorize a portion of the force to carry firearms on duty. In order to be eligible for to carry, the court officer must first obtain an LTC through the existing process under Chapter 140/s131.  They must also complete a firearm training course approved by the Chief justice of the Trial Court, Supreme Judicial Court, or the Appeals Court.


An Act establishing local emergency management agencies

Summary

This bill would allow municipalities to establish a Local Emergency Management Agencies. These agencies would be organized and run by a director, who would report directly to the municipality’s appointing authority (Mayor or City manager for a city, or the Town Manager or Town Administrator in towns). The Agency would have the authority to utilize and coordinate the services, equipment, supplies and facilities of the town in response. This would only take effect in the case of a declaration of a state of emergency by the appointing authority and would be superseded by any declaration made by the Governor.


An Act providing mental wellness training for police officers

Summary

This legislation requires the Municipal Police Training Commission to develop and implement a course for training the Commonwealth’s law enforcement officers on mental wellness and suicide prevention. The course shall be 2 hours of instruction, and incorporated into both the recruit basic training curriculum and the in-service training curriculum. The bill requires all officers certified by the MPTC to attend and complete the course annually. The bill also requires every State Police Trooper to complete a course that meets the standards established by the legislation.


An Act Relative to public safety on private college and university campuses

Summary

This legislation would allow for police officers employed by private colleges in universities to be eligible to obtain a Massachusetts Police Identification Card, which is currently used as a basic ID across law enforcement departments. This is especially important for a number of urban campus departments who regularly assist municipal departments for large scale events, including the Boston Marathon or various parades.  It would also allow such officers to carry a taser if (1) they hold a valid LTC authorized by their local authority, (2) are authorized to carry firearms as part of their duties and (3) the use of tasers is approved by the chief of their department.


An Act authorizing electronic signatures on search warrant applications

Summary

After drafting an affidavit to support to request a search warrant, a physical copy of the necessary documents must be transported to the home of an on call clerk magistrate or judge. Current statute requires a handwritten signature for search warrants, often causing logistical delays in the midst of time sensitive investigations. This bill would eliminate the requirement of a ‘wet’ signature and authorize electronic signatures when necessary. Electronic signatures for search warrants have been enacted in many states, including California, Maryland, Washington, Minnesota, Arizona and Louisiana.


An Act relative to line of duty benefits for police officers employed by private colleges and universities

Summary

This legislation would line of duty death benefits to sworn officers of private universities or colleges who meet the statutory requirements for a special state police officer. Special laws have been passed to extend these benefits to such officers in individual circumstances, and this bill mirrors that language.


An Act relative to oversight of sexual offender registry board

Summary

This legislation (1) mandates that Sex Offender Registry Board and the State Police establish MOU to identify and locate offenders who failed to comply or could not be notified; (2) expands reporting requirements when an offender is released to include the state police and departments where the offender previously lived and worked; (3) requires the state police to file an arrest warrant for any offender who violates the reporting requirements; and (4) creates a new category, to be known as ‘Level Zero’ that will be used to identify offenders who are appealing their classification.


An Act relative to improving outcomes for sudden cardiac arrest

Summary

This bill would make changes to the existing Emergency 911 system to improve outcomes for individuals suffering sudden cardiac arrest (SAC). The Commonwealth’s E911 system responds to about 10 victims a day, but the survival rate is nearly ten times lower than other parts of the country. These improvements are largely due to the expansion of Dispatcher Assisted CPR, during which a 911 dispatcher walks a responsible bystander over the phone. The legislation would require that all dispatchers that provide dispatch for emergency medical conditions be trained in telephone-CPR. The bill would also add a physician with a specialty in emergency medicine and a regional EMS expert to the State 911 Commission. It would also add Sudden Cardiac Arrest to the list of reportable diseases, allowing the Commonwealth to collect improved data on these incidents.


An Act relative to the retirment of MassPort police officers

Summary

MassPort police officers provide high level public safety services for the Commonwealth on essential properties that are controlled by the agency. These officers share jurisdiction with the Massachusetts State Police in essential public areas like Logan Airport and the Seaport. Despite their duties and qualifications matching any police department in the state, they have been incorrectly relegated to group 2 for the purposes of the retirement system.  This bill would bring them into group 4, which is reflective of their work.  


An Act Relative to the Alignment of the University of Massachusetts Police

Summary

This bill would align the University of Massachusetts Police with other law enforcement officers in group 4 of retirement system. As outlined by the Retirement Board and reinforced by DALA, the University of Massachusetts police clearly fall under the definition of law enforcement in Group 4. However, a specific statutory designation in group 2 prevents their inclusion. They were originally added to Group 2 in 1940, when they were building security officers. Since then, the department has been fully professionalized, and is certified by the MPTC like any municipal department. However, due to the lack of comparable benefits, the University has significant trouble retaining qualified officers who leave for Group 4 positions.