Findings, recommendations from Office of Police Accountability and Transparency announced
Mayor Kim Janey today released findings and recommendations following her charge to Attorney Stephanie Everett and the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency to deliver a plan for review and reform of the police department internal affairs procedures, based on Director Everett’s investigation into the Patrick Rose case. The report reviews what internal affairs policies and procedures were in place during the time of the Rose case. The report further identifies which of those policies and procedures have appropriately been changed since 1995 and recommends additional reforms where needed.
“In 2021, there is a new opportunity to ensure this never happens again. We must implement the 2020 Task Force recommendations and establish OPAT and its public boards with urgency, said Mayor Janey. “I am grateful to Stephanie Everett for her work leading and building OPAT. I thank the Boston Police Department for its cooperation and efforts to advance its policies to meet the demands for equity and justice in our city.”
The following are Director Everett’s findings and recommendations from her review of the Rose case:
Finding #1: Ensuring Thorough, Independent Internal Investigations
In 1995, there did not appear to be clear policies and procedures in place to ensure a thorough and independent response by the Boston Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division upon notice of a complaint.
Recommendation #1: Start Investigations Within 48 Hours of Notification
It is recommended that the Boston Police Department’s Bureau of Professional Standards shall, upon receiving information from the Court, an officer’s supervising officer, or other credible source, that an officer has been charged with violating Massachusetts General Law c. 265, Section 13a-29, as may be amended, prioritize this matter and seek to interview witnesses within 48 hours, where appropriate for the witnesses.
Finding #2: Ensuring Appropriate Action from a Sustained Finding
The Boston Police Department did not take sufficient steps to discipline or terminate based on the Internal Affairs Division’s sustained finding of misconduct.
Recommendation #2: Make Discipline from Internal Affairs Investigations Visible, Predictable and Just
It is recommended that this same discipline matrix should also be used for recommendations resulting from IAD investigation. In addition to guidance that will be provided by that matrix, the Boston Police Department is also developing and will promulgate this year new policies involving members of the force accused of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Finding #3: Ensuring Oversight of the Internal Affairs Investigations
The third finding is that there was no independent oversight of the Internal Affairs Division’s investigations.
Recommendation #3: Mayor to File Amendment to OPAT Ordinance to Alert OPAT of Criminal Charges Brought Against Officers
When the IAD receives information from the Court, an officer’s supervising officer, or other credible source, that an officer has been charged with violating Massachusetts General Law c. 265, Section 13a-29, as may be amended, notification will be sent to the POST Commission and to the Office of Police Accountability & Transparency for the offense and the initiation of an investigation.
This builds on the work of the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency.
Since her appointment in early May, Director Everett has been steadfast in advancing several key police reforms, even as she works to staff the new OPAT organization. Already, OPAT has solicited nominees to the new Civilian Review Board. On May 21, Mayor Janey submitted a letter to the City Council requesting nominations for the Civilian Review Board by June 7. The City Council finally began its process to nominate Civilian Review Board members last week and set an extended deadline of August 30. Nominations from several community-based organizations are expected by July 31. Second, the new Internal Affairs Oversight Panel had its first public hearing in June. Third, OPAT has been working to coordinate compliance with new state police reforms.
In addition, the City of Boston and Boston Police Department have begun for police reform measures, including the creation of a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion policy and launch of a DEI Committee within the BPD in April; a revision of the use of force and bias-free policing policies in May; launch of a public dashboard that covers police conduct in June; de-escalation work for BPD officers; and an increase from two to eight hours of the Fair and Impartial Policing Curriculum for new recruits.