PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police Chief Michael Wynn has been selected to serve on the new state commission on police training.
The appointment was announced on Thursday by Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey.
Wynn, a governor's appointee, will join the commission's chair retired Judge Margaret R. Hinkle, victim witness advocate Charlene D. Luma, Massachusetts Law Enforcement Policy Group President Lawrence Calderone, Boston Police Detective Larry Ellison, trial attorney Marsha V. Kazarosian, psychologist Hanya H. Bluestone, attorney Kimberly P. West, and Clementina M. Chéry, co-founder & CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Boston.
The nine inaugural members of the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission will create a mandatory certification process for police officers, as well as processes for decertification, suspension of certification, or reprimand in the event of certain misconduct.
"By establishing a Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, the commonwealth is taking an important step to improve public safety and increase trust between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "We are pleased to appoint a diverse range of experts to the POST Commission, and look forward to their work to create a more effective, just and accountable law enforcement system in Massachusetts."
The independent agency, with appointees from the governor and attorney general, was established by Chapter 253 of the Acts of 2020, signed by the governor in December 2020. Part of the police reform bill, its role is to create conduct standards and be responsible for investigating and adjudicating claims of misconduct, maintaining databases of training, certification, employment and internal affairs records for all officers, and certifying law enforcement agencies. By creating a central entity to oversee officer certification, the commission will ensure that those officers' training and misconduct records are available both to the Commission and to those officers' current and future employers, improving accountability.
The statute requires the governor to appoint a police chief, a retired justice of the Superior Court, and a social worker nominated by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. The attorney general is required to appoint a law enforcement officer below the rank of sergeant, who is a labor union representative nominated by the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Policy Group, an officer nominated by the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, and an attorney nominated by the Civil Rights and Social Justice Section Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association. The governor and attorney general are required to jointly appoint three members, one of whom must be nominated by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the other two are to be civilian appointees. After the initial appointments, each member is eligible to serve five years. The governor designates the chair of the commission.
Wynn has been police chief since 2007 and has been with the department since 1995. He has also served as both a subject matter instructor and drill instructor at multiple police academies, including as an adjunct instructor for the Justice System Training and Research Institute at Roger Williams University since 2006, an instructor for the Municipal Police Training Committee in Randolph since 2001, and as a staff instructor for the Municipal Police Training Committee in Springfield from 2001 until 2007. From 2003 until 2004, Wynn was a Leadership Fellow with the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Leadership Development Unit, where he earned certification as a DEA Tactical Instructor. He also has served since last year on the National Leadership Council of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a nonprofit that promotes bipartisan solutions to reduce crime and help children succeed, after serving as a local member for the previous 10 years, and has served as an Adjunct Professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts since 2018. He earned a master's in criminal justice from Anna Maria College, and his bachelor's degree from Williams College.
Hinkle served from 1993 until 2011 as a justice of the Superior Court of Massachusetts. Since her retirement in 2011, Hinkle has worked as a case manager for JAMS, a private alternative dispute resolution provider, serving as an arbitrator, mediator and discovery master.
Luma is a licensed social worker who has served since 2019 as the chief of the Victim Witness Assistance Program for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, overseeing victim witness advocates to provide crisis assessment and intervention, supportive counseling, information, referrals and advocacy services to victims, witnesses and their families throughout the criminal justice system.
Calderone is also president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association. He has served as a Boston Police Officer since 1994, working in the communities of Roxbury and Mattapan, and with the Special Operations Motorcycle Unit & SWAT Team. He is currently assigned to the station in West Roxbury, where he previously focused on motor vehicle and pedestrian safety and traffic reconstruction.
Ellison is a detective in the Boston Police Department's School Unit, a position he has held since 2005. He has served in the department since 1983, including as a detective in the Narcotics Division and in the Brighton district, and as an officer with years of experience across districts and communities.
Kazarosian is an experienced trial attorney who has been practicing in Massachusetts since 1982, handling multiple high-profile cases that have gained her recognition in New England and across the country. She is currently a partner at Kazarosian Costello LLP, where her practice areas include civil rights law, discrimination cases, and police misconduct cases. She is a past president of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Bluestone is a licensed psychologist who has served since 2016 as CEO of Labyrinth Psychological Services, PC, in Holden, providing specialized trauma and behavioral medicine treatments to patients of all ages. Prior to her current role, Bluestone served from 2007 until 2016 as a Psychologist IV for the Department of Mental Health, where her responsibilities included conducting mental health and substance abuse evaluations, testifying in the District and Superior Courts, and providing clinical consultations to families, probation and judges.
Chéry is an ordained senior chaplain. The Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is a center of healing, teaching and learning for families and communities impacted by homicide, trauma, grief and loss. The center was named for her son, Louis, who was killed in the crossfire of a shootout in 1993. Chaplain Chéry is a recognized expert on best practices in the field of homicide response, and has extensive experience training public health professionals and law enforcement officials to better serve families impacted by murder and interrupt cycles of retaliatory violence.
West has served since 2019 as a partner of Ashcroft Law Firm in Boston, where she represents clients in investigations involving federal and state agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Justice and Department of the Treasury. Prior to entering private practice, West served from 2015 until 2019 as chief of the Criminal Bureau of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General.
"Each of these appointees brings unique expertise and experience to this commission as we institute meaningful reform in our state and local law enforcement departments," said Healey. "This new commission will help enhance accountability and transparency, build public trust, bolster public safety, and provide enhanced training, guidance and support to police officers across our state."
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — This week's Veteran Spotlight subject is retired Army Sgt. Maj. Michael King, who now leads the Berkshire Veteran Outreach Center.
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