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Police Reform

Order for a hearing regarding Boston Police overtime

Filed with Councilors Campbell and O'Malley 

I filed this shorty after the budget process, and have held quarterly hearings since, to monitor the Boston Police Department’s progress to succeed in cutting overtime costs by 20% in FY21. We know from the hearings we’ve held so far that the BPD is not on track to reduce the overtime budget by 20% this year, and greater procedural changes are needed to get on track. 

Order for a hearing regarding Police Contracts as Policy Documents

Filed with Councilors Campbell and Edwards

This hearing order was also originally filed following the FY21 budget, in July 2020, and since then, it's been refiled along with my draft policy memo. Many police reforms and their implementation are subject to bargaining, and may require alterations or adjustments in the new contracts set to be negotiated this year with the various police units. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd and so many others, which has cast heightened scrutiny on the capacity of local departments to discipline and terminate police officers for abuses of power, there are grave concerns about the frequent inability of the Boston Police Department to successfully terminate officers in many cases going back years and under a number of different Police Commissioners. Without changes to the contract, this trend will only continue, and meaningful and effective civilian oversight – including by the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency – will not be possible.

The Council has a duty to represent the public interest in regard to all agreements that come before it, including through the promotion of transparency, accountability, fiscal responsibility, and an awareness of the broader public policy impacts of such agreements. 

I strongly endorse the right to collective bargaining, and while the Council does not sit at the bargaining table, it can play an important role by helping to educate the public about police contracts as public policy documents and by setting key public policy expectations in light of which all parties should negotiate, much as all parties negotiate in light of the broader economic context.

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