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OIG Bulletin, November 2020: OIG Recommends Changes to State Police Paid Detail Administration

Paid details are voluntary assignments that provide crowd control, security or traffic direction at roadway work sites and major sporting and civic events.

Table of Contents

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Background

Pursuant to M.G.L. c. 22C, § 72(c), the Office of the Inspector General’s Division of State Police Oversight (Division) is responsible for monitoring the quality, efficiency and integrity of Massachusetts State Police (MSP) operations, organizational structure and management functions with a particular focus on paid details and overtime. 

During its first full year of operation, the Division conducted several reviews, one of which included a comprehensive review of the MSP’s Paid Detail Offices (PDOs). Each of the five troops in the MSP’s Division of Field Services has a Paid Detail Office, staffed by troopers, that is responsible for the assignment and administration of paid details. The Division’s review revealed that, by and large, each PDO in each troop performs similar functions and follows the same processes in administering paid details within its respective troop’s jurisdictional boundaries.

Findings

As a result of its review, the Division found that the PDOs lack a centralized, electronic, interconnected management system for administering paid details. This stems from the absence of modern electronic communication systems between troops and MSP’s General Headquarters (GHQ), resulting in inefficient and redundant work product.

The Division recommended that the MSP consider creating one central PDO at GHQ, which would be responsible for the administration and billing of all paid details, utilizing uniform practices with a fully electronic, web-based operational platform. This would eliminate the communication gaps and redundant practices that exist in the current troop-based PDO systems.

Moreover, the current staffing model, in which only troopers can work at the PDOs, is costly and inefficient, given the highly administrative and civilian nature of the work performed.

In addition to creating one central PDO at GHQ, the Division also recommended utilizing civilian employees for a substantial portion of the staff at the proposed central PDO. This would save money and allow the MSP to re-deploy much-needed troopers elsewhere.

The MSP is currently reviewing the Division’s recommendations.

For more information, please see the Division’s 2019 Annual Report.

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