Monday, January 20, 2020

Baker proposes policy changes at State Police

It may be that so many people contacted the Governor's office that finally made him realize that doing nothing was not an option at the State police.  Lets hope the legislature is not bullied by the cops to appose any new laws that Baker has proposed.

From the Globe by Matt Rocheleau

NEW BRAINTREE – Legislation filed by Gov. Charlie Baker will allow more swift and harsh punishment for state troopers who don’t live up to their oath, the governor announced Thursday.
The move comes as the department works to improve public trust following scandals involving overtime and detail pay.
Baker, speaking at the State Police Training Facility in New Braintree, said he would file legislation which, if passed, would allow the colonel to hand out unpaid suspensions for serious offenses and allow state agencies to collect damages from troopers who lie about their hours worked in order to collect additional pay.
“The current statutes are out of date and out of step with what is required to run an effective department today,” Baker said, adding that the colonel is unable to enforce accountability under current laws.
During his visit to the training academy, Baker addressed the 252 new recruits who are in their second week of 23 weeks of training. He told the recruits, believed to be among the most diverse group of trainees to ever enter the academy, that providing for public safety is one of the most important things government does.
The recruits are the first class to go through a new type of training using methods set forth by Col. Christopher Mason, who was named to head the department in October. Mason is known for his work investigating the murder of fashion writer Christa Worthington on Cape Cod and prosecution of her garbage collector, Christopher McGowan, in the killing.
The new training Mason has implemented includes an emphasis on ethics, after a scandal in which troopers, some of whom have lost their jobs and been prosecuted, were found to be accepting pay for details they did not work.
The troopers are also learning more about modern policing skills such as empathy, de-escalation, and crisis communication.
Asked about the state police academy’s paramilitary training model, Mason said that, too, will change.
“I believe that there is a role (for paramilitary training),” Mason said. “I think that in the past the paramilitary role has, perhaps, been overemphasized.”
Transitioning into an updated police department will mean carving out some of the time spent on paramilitary skills and shifting that time to training in the more modern skills that address things troopers are likely to face in their career such as dealing with people experiencing a mental health crisis.
But the training will remain rigorous.
“I definitely want to see a shift in the academy attitude. The academy staff here has understood and adopted the vision that I have and we see that playing out here,” he said. “But make no mistake, the state police academy is a difficult academy and we want to be difficult. We want to weed out the people that are here for the wrong reasons. We want people here that are committed to public service.”
Finding those people may be easier after the department adopts a new cadet program that will allow for civilian employees to work for the state police to learn about the job and determine whether they feel a calling to the profession. The department’s Student Trooper program, which allows high school-age pupils to spend a week at the academy for a taste of the skills troopers learn, will remain in place and separate from the cadet program, Mason said.
It was also announced that cameras, both those worn on the trooper’s body and those affixed to their vehicles, will be put in place. In another recent announcement, state police said cruisers will be fitted with GPS systems.
Mason agreed that public perception is that all police have and use these tools. Having video of an incident can help in prosecuting a case, he said.
The new initiatives are the result of successful negotiations with the State Police Association of Massachusetts, he said.
While he has no plans to retire anytime soon, Mason could be the last colonel to have worked his way through the ranks to the top job under the new legislation.
Baker’s bill will allow for candidates from other agencies to apply for the colonel’s job. Those who would be considered would have 10 or more years in law enforcement and five or more years in a police or military leadership position.
Mason said that while having an institutional knowledge of the state police is a benefit, he agrees with the process and said it’s better to “cast a wider net” for qualified candidates.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Superintendent's response, Charlie Richards, Student Survey

Last night's school committee meeting was jammed packed with interesting information.

The MTA and a few parents railed on Trembley about what was recorded heard in executive session. His response starts at 45:51. But before you listen to that, check out the public comments. Seems to me we have serious problems of unruly children and teachers scared and being hurt.

A student survey was conducted at the HS at 1:04:30. The survey was answered by 749 students (72%) and as you will see, most students feel that the school is doing well in recycling.  As I can personally attest from being in the cafeteria at lunch time for two years registering kids to vote, recycling was not being done at all. 

Lastly, last night on channel 5, they did a story on a young blind man who is a camera guy at the school channel. It's a heart warming story about perseverance. Worth a watch

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The double slaying at Beaver Terrace

From the MWDN:

While this crime was shocking and upsetting to those who live in the Ham and especially those who live in that area, does it really surprise anyone that drug dealers are conducting business there? Clearly the poor souls who lost their lives went to the parking lot for some reason and it wasn't to pick up litter at 11:30 at night. Now we learn that the perpetrator was arrested in Holliston on some serious charges and made bail. Might it been the time to ask for a dangerous hearing before letting him post bail?  Perhaps it's time for FPD and the people who live there to rid themselves of the bad actors and help create a safer place to live. The cops can't be everywhere all the time, but instead of spending lots of undercover time and money busting marijuana users, they may want to double down on that area with their Dug Task Force.

From the MWDN:

\FRAMINGHAM — A Framingham man was charged Tuesday with murder in the shooting deaths of a father and son on Friday, authorities said.
Aneudy Delgado-Torres, 39, was arrested at 2:30 p.m at the Embassy Suites in Marlborough, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan announced at a press conference at the Framingham Police station.
He is charged with two counts of murder in the shooting deaths of James “Manny” Wade, 45, and his son James Wade, 24, both of Framingham. He is also charged with possession of a large capacity gun magazine, possession of a gun, and possession of ammunition.

Ryan said the men were shot in a parking lot near Beaver Terrace Circle that authorities say is a known location for drug dealing.
“Recently, there have been conflicts between two groups of drug sellers who use that parking lot,” Ryan said.
On Friday, the Wades went to that lot to meet someone they knew for an unknown reason. Several people, including Delgado-Torres were there.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Great American divide on Frontline

Ever wonder why we are now locked into this bitter divide of the two parties?
Last night on PBS, Frontline did a great and valuable service to us all who wonder now how Trump has divided this country. The film documents the rise of Obama and how Trump used racism to get elected. The second part is on tonight on PBS and is, IMO, a film that ALL millennial's should watch.  While boomers vote more often, the next generations will be more adversely effected if Trump gets elected again.

Part 1

Part 2