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Police Training Initiative
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FY2010 House 1 Budget Recommendation:
Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor
The Emergency Recovery Plan includes an initiative to fund police training through an automobile insurance surcharge and that funding structure is included in the House 1 (H.1) recommendations. This surcharge will fund two programs: the Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) and an annual state police class. The purpose of this initiative is to fully fund comprehensive police training, revise the current curriculum and ensure police officers are receiving quality in-service trainings. The surcharge will provide $3.1 million at the MPTC for municipal police and college police training, and $3.2 million at the State Police Department for state police officer training.
The surcharge will be included on private auto insurance policies. The amount will be $1.60-$2.00 per policy. Currently, Massachusetts has 3.1 million private auto insurance policies. This will generate enough revenue to fully fund both programs.
The MPTC is currently funded in a state budget appropriation at $2.9 million, but this line item has been chronically under-funded. As a result, training programs have not been updated and there are not enough instructors. Once the surcharge is fully implemented, it is projected that MTPC will have the available funds to streamline programming and expand the curriculum to improve the training of municipal police officers. Additionally, State police classes are typically funded through a line item in the budget or through a supplemental budget; both amount and availability of funding, however, are inconsistent from year to year. Since fiscal year 2002, a new state police class has been included in an annual budget only twice and through a supplemental budget once. Without a dedicated funding stream or a regularly scheduled class, it is difficult to keep a fully staffed force.
The Municipal Police Training Committee
The MPTC is statutorily mandated to provide municipal police training to the approximately 16,000 municipal police officers in the Commonwealth. Each year, 650 new municipal officers are hired and these officers are required to go through a 21 week, 800 hour recruit academy.
The MPTC has 5 regional municipal police academies located in Randolph (headquarters), Boylston, Plymouth, Reading and New Bedford. With the additional funding, the MPTC will conduct evaluations of instructors and their material to ensure uniformity. Specialized police training, such as drug raid planning and investigation, arson investigations and K-9 training will have their curricula updated.
An Annual State Police Class
Historically, the State Police Department holds a training class when the number of troopers reaches a critical level. This has an adverse impact on overtime costs and deployment flexibility. With the $3.2 million from the automobile insurance surcharge, the State Police will hold a yearly class for 80 new troopers. This will bring consistency to state police levels, contain overtime costs and provide deployment efficiencies. In addition, a large number of troopers, approximately 300, are eligible for retirement. An annual state police class will help to address the backfill of troopers timely as to not jeopardize public safety.
The surcharge on auto insurance for private and commercial policies will provide a needed and dedicated revenue stream to support police training. A comprehensive training program for municipal police officers and consistent state police classes will improve the community and officer safety.
Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance · Rooms 373 & 272 · State House
For more information contact:
Michelle Small (email@example.com)
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