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MA Chiefs of Police Assoc. Endorse Baker’s Dangerousness Bill

Saturday, March 16, 2019

 

Governor Charlie Baker

Governor Charlie Baker announced that the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association (MCOPA) endorsed his administration’s recently filed “An Act to Protect the Commonwealth from Dangerous Persons.”

“On behalf of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, I would like to thank the Baker–Polito Administration for filing this important legislation. Several months ago, the Mass Chiefs Joined with the rest of law enforcement in supporting this bill when it was filed last session, and we rise once again to advocate for this important legislation.  MCOPA applauds the tremendous steps this bill takes to protect the people of the Commonwealth, and we respectfully ask the Legislature to partner with the Mass Chiefs as they have done so successfully in the past to get this bill to the Governor’s desk,” said Chief Russell Stevens, Hamilton Police and President of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association.

The announcement was made after a meeting of MCOPA.

"Lt. Governor Polito and I are grateful for MCOPA's support for the Administration's dangerousness legislation. This bill will give law enforcement and the courts additional tools needed to keep the Commonwealth's communities safe from dangerous individuals,” said Baker.

The Bill

The bill would expand the list of offenses that can provide grounds for a dangerousness hearing and close certain loopholes at the start and end of the criminal process that currently limit or prevent effective action to address legitimate safety concerns. 

The bill will also strengthen the ability of judges to enforce the conditions of pre-trial release by empowering police to detain people who they observe violating court-ordered release conditions; current law does not allow this, and instead requires a court to first issue a warrant. 

Under this proposal, judges will be empowered to revoke a person’s release when the offender has violated a court-ordered condition, such as an order to stay away from a victim, or from a public playground. Current law requires an additional finding of dangerousness before release may be revoked.

 

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