BOSTON – Lawmakers in the House and Senate on Beacon Hill have passed a bill that would fund municipal police training.
Both chambers pushed the legislation through on Wednesday that will create a dedicated revenue source for law enforcement.
The need for the money was highlighted following the shooting death of Yarmouth Police Sgt. Sean Gannon in April.
It was punctuated even further by the killing of Weymouth Police Sgt. Michael Chesna this week.
Both men were allegedly shot and killed by suspects with criminal backgrounds.
“This has been a very difficult process but in the end we passed a bill that is going to make our police officers better trained and thus, better able to deal with the situations that come up in their law enforcement duties,” said 2nd Barnstable State Representative Will Crocker (R-Centerville).
“This bill will help to ensure that police officers are able to receive the most up to date training and will ensure that they are better educated and prepared for whatever dangers that their career may throw at them.”
The bill imposes a $2 surcharge on every rental vehicle contract and will fund municipal police training programs.
The revenue generated from this additional fee is expected to provide anywhere from $8 million to $10 million annually towards the training fund.
“I am grateful to my colleagues who unanimously supported dedicated revenue for the municipal police training committee from the moment I introduced it earlier this session,” said Cape and Islands State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro).
“It’s excellent news for the Commonwealth that the House and Senate have done their part to recognize the sacrifice and service of police across Massachusetts,” Cyr said.
Plymouth/Barnstable State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R – Plymouth) also praised the bill, saying he was a longtime supporter of increased funding for municipal police training.
“I welcome the passage of this legislation that will create a consistent funding stream for training for our local police departments,” he said.
“Our police officers do an incredibly difficult and dangerous job and it is important that we give them every tool possible to allow them to protect us and themselves in the safest possible manner.”
The measure now goes to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk for his signature.
The dedicated funding stream will allow the Municipal Police Training Committee to maintain critical services and expand training, including:
First Aid/CPR in-service training
First-line supervision training
More sexual assault investigator training
First-line supervision leadership training
School Resource Officer training
Instructor trainer courses: including Firearms, Defensive Tactics; First Aid/CPR; Health and Wellness
Fair and impartial policing, procedural justice and, implicit bias training