How We Contribute to The Commonwealth
The Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC), an agency of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), serves the Commonwealth by establishing training standards for and by providing training programs to more than 20,000 professional men and women who serve as police officers throughout the Commonwealth. Each year, the MPTC directly contributes to the public safety mission of the Commonwealth by administering and delivering training programs at six regional academies and other sites throughout the Commonwealth. The scope of this training ranges from an intense, 800-hour/20-week Basic Training program for new municipal, University of Massachusetts, and Environmental Police officers to annual professional development training for veteran officers. It also includes a variety of focused, specialized professional development training programs for veteran and reserve officers.
The Municipal Police Training Committee is the name of the oversight body as well as the agency itself. The responsibility of the oversight board is to provide policy guidance to the Agency, to establish training standards, and to authorize exemptions. The oversight board membership is comprised of chiefs of police representing Western, Central, Northeastern and Southeastern Massachusetts. Other voting members represent the MBTA, the police officers themselves, the Boston Police Commissioner, the State Police Colonel, the Attorney General, and a designee of the Secretary of the EOPSS. All such appointments are for terms of 3 years.
The foundation for the current MPTC was laid in 1964 when the Legislature passed the first general law requiring police officers in cities and towns with populations greater than 5,000 to complete a recruit training course. In 1968, an in-service training requirement was added. In 1972, the Legislature eliminated the exemption for cities and towns with populations under 5,000 and added a requirement for supervisory training. That same year, the agency was designated as the Massachusetts Criminal Justice Training Council (MCJTC) and commonly referred to as "the council." Over the subsequent decades, the responsibilities of the agency have expanded to include a variety of mandated training topics including rape investigation, suicide prevention, drunken driving enforcement, and hate crimes enforcement. In 2002, the legislature again restructured the then-MCJTC into the MPTC's current structure and title. In recent years, the MPTC has taken a lead training role in some of the most critical social issues of our time. Drug interdiction and enforcement, domestic and juvenile violence, highway safety, and civil rights are just some of the areas which require special attention and training. In 2010, Chapter 262 of Acts of 2010 further expanded MPTC's mission by including University of Massachusetts and Massachusetts Environmental Police officers in the MPTC mandate.
Working closely with police departments of all sizes from across the state, the MPTC committee and staff have developed a quality delivery system that covers all areas of police training. Currently, training is delivered in four core areas: Recruit Officer Course for full and part-time officers; Annual Professional Development and Specialized Professional Development. You can find a more detailed explanation of these core areas in the list container to the right of this page.
Funding for MPTC-hosted professional development and specialized police training comes from appropriated monies provided by the state legislature. In addition, federal grants and funding are utilized to develop and deliver training when available. As a result, the MPTC does not charge fees for professional development, specialized, or distance learning classes. These legislatively appropriated funds must not only play for the training costs associated with developing and delivering the various programs, they must also be utilized for agency expenses, such as facility leasing and repairs and staff. Planning is essential and challenging since the number of officers to be trained changes frequently due to fluctuations in funding and personnel available for training, both within the departments and within the MPTC.
With respect to basic recruit officer training, state statutes require the MPTC to assess a Student Officer fee of $2,500 for each student attending basic recruit training at the MPTC training sites. This fee, which is paid by the municipalities prior to the start of training, may or may not be required to be paid back to the department by the police officer once trained. That arrangement is determined between the hiring department and the student officer. The funds collected by the MPTC are placed in a "retained revenue account" and are strictly allocated for offsetting police recruit training costs and cannot be used for other training.
The Massachusetts General Laws allow students to attend recruit officer training even if they have not been hired by a police department. Those who have not been offered employment as a full-time or part-time police officer may be permitted to enroll in recruit officer training if they obtain the sponsorship of a municipal, University of Massachusetts police chief or the colonel of the Environmental Police and if space is available. These students are required to pay the Student Officer fee and all costs associated with the training program.
As stated above, the MPTC is not involved in either hiring or sponsoring students, nor does the MPTC set hiring standards for entry level police officers. Entry-level hiring standards are left to the discretion of the hiring/sponsoring agency and/or the Human Resource Division's Civil Service Unit.
It is the student's responsibility to find sponsorship if the student is not employed by a police agency. A student does not need to be sponsored by the chief of police in the community in which the student resides. A municipal, University of Massachusetts police chief or colonel of the Environmental Police may sponsor a candidate. The MPTC is not involved in this process, cannot make recommendations, and does not maintain a list of such chiefs. When sponsorship is achieved, the sponsoring department will contact the Recruit Officer Coordinator at the MPTC H.Q. to coordinate the process.