- Municipal Police Training Committee
- Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Marks Opening of New Municipal Police Training Facility in Central Massachusetts
Timothy McGuirk, Communications
Southbridge — The Baker-Polito Administration today marked the opening of a new municipal police training center in Central Massachusetts at the Southbridge Innovation Center, that will help support local police departments’ training needs under the requirements of the recently signed police reform law. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy joined community leaders to commemorate the opening of this 36,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art police training facility. The Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC), an agency within the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS), will use this training space to deliver standardized officer training as part of its regional approach to support the implementation of the 2020 police reform law.
The MPTC training center in Southbridge is one of several facilities statewide where the MPTC will offer its newly developed Bridge Academy. The 200-hour training program enables local officers who did not previously attend an 800-hour, full-time police academy to earn certification by bridging the gap between any prior training and the new uniform standards now required by law. The newly created Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission is charged with administering the certification process. To date, 800 officers are enrolled in the bridge program, which is offered free of charge to local departments with officers in need of additional training to meet the law’s requirements.
“Today’s ceremony demonstrates our Administration’s commitment to implementing police reform and supporting local law enforcement with training opportunities close to the communities where they serve,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We appreciate the commitment of our partners in the community and at the Southbridge Innovation Center for helping the MPTC establish this important space. The police reform law we enacted in 2020 will improve accountability and transparency for law enforcement across the Commonwealth, and the Bridge Academy is a key part of our work to achieve those goals.”
“This facility creates new opportunities to strengthen public safety in Central Massachusetts as we implement the landmark police reform law signed by our Administration just over a year ago,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The training center will offer central and convenient access for local departments and their officers, advancing the Commonwealth’s efforts to achieve uniform standardized training, implement police reform, and improve community safety across the Commonwealth.”
At the Southbridge Innovation Center, officers will train in nearly 36,000 sq. ft. of dedicated space that includes 14 classrooms and other gathering spaces. At this site, the MPTC will conduct in-person instruction for de-escalation training based on the new use-of-force policies and regulations mandated by the police reform law. Courses will also include police leadership training conducted by FBI-LEEDA, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of School Resource Officers, and other police education leaders. In addition, the facility will offer statutorily mandated in-service training to some of the 24,000 officers across the Commonwealth.
“The opening of MPTC’s Southbridge campus marks an exciting milestone in our continued efforts to ensure the highest level of training standards for police officers throughout the Commonwealth,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “The MPTC, in close coordination with EOPSS, is working diligently to advance the mandates established by the police reform law, including its primary objective to standardize training for all members of law enforcement.”
“The MPTC understands the importance of delivering world-class officer training across the Commonwealth at convenient, regional locations,” said MPTC Executive Director Robert Ferullo (Ret. Police Chief). “Adding this Southbridge location expands access for the law enforcement community in Central Massachusetts, compliments flexible in-person class schedules offered at other Bridge Academy locations, and supports the successful implementation of this landmark legislation.”
In recent years, the MPTC has expanded its physical footprint to provide convenient and geographically diverse options for student officers and local police departments. The MPTC operates five academies in Boylston, Plymouth, Randolph, Reading, and Springfield. Additionally, the MPTC offers on-demand training online, and in-person training in Ayer, Dalton, Edgartown, Haverhill, Ipswich, Joint Base Cape Cod, Medfield, and New Braintree. In addition to Southbridge, the MPTC has recently entered into agreements to obtain training space in Holyoke, Lynnfield, and at the Springfield Police Department Firearm Range.
Representing the Worcester Business Development Corporation (WBDC) Craig Blais, the president and CEO of the WBDC, said, “The WBDC has been working for over 20 years to promote the opportunities available in Central Massachusetts. We have long advocated that Southbridge has enormous development opportunities due to its central location, access to Interstate transportation, available and reliable workforce, and strong local civic leadership. We welcome the Municipal Police Training Center to Southbridge.”
“We welcome the MPTC training center to the Southbridge Innovation Center. We are proud to support the MPTC program to serve and train the brave men and women of law enforcement. We whole-heartedly support training that continues to advance the safety of law enforcement and our communities,” said Managing Director of Southbridge Innovation Center and Franklin Realty Advisors, Charles “Chip” Norton.
“On behalf of the Town of Southbridge, we are pleased to welcome and lend our support for this vital training center here in Southbridge. The announcement of this prestigious training center allows the town of Southbridge and, specifically, the Southbridge Innovation Center, to serve the region’s training needs more effectively with first-class space and amenities in Central Massachusetts,” added Southbridge Town Manager Michael McCall.
About the 2020 Police Reform Law and Bridge Academy
On December 31, 2020, Governor Baker signed “An Act Relative to Justice, Equity and Accountability in Law Enforcement in the Commonwealth,” which creates a mandatory certification process for police officers, increases accountability and transparency in law enforcement and gives police departments a greater ability to hire or promote only qualified applicants. The law established a new, independent Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, which is charged with providing certification for offices. Under the police reform law, the Municipal Police Training Committee is charged with ensuring training opportunities for officers to meet those standards. The MPTC launched the Bridge Academy to support this goal.
About the Municipal Police Training Committee
The Municipal Police Training Committee contributes to the safety and security of the Commonwealth’s citizens by establishing training standards for and delivering training to more than 20,000 men and women who serve as police officers throughout the Commonwealth. The training ranges from basic training for new officers to mandatory and specialized professional development training for incumbent officers.
About the Southbridge Innovation Center
The Southbridge Innovation Center is a sprawling complex that once served as the manufacturing flagship for the American Optical Company. The Southbridge Innovation Center sits on over 150 acres, with 14 buildings and 1.2 million square feet. A unique property in the heart of the Northeast, the Southbridge Innovation Center commands a strategic location easily reached by auto and air, with over half of New England’s largest companies within a 60-mile radius and twelve universities and colleges within 25 miles. Property features include multiple building types offering a variety of configurations and uses, direct on-site access to fiber conductivity, and an on-site cogeneration power plant (the park is powered by a state-of-the-art Cogeneration Plant (combined Heat and Power/CHP), providing all of the utilities for the complex.