NEW PROJECT: POST Commission Records

NEW PROJECT: POST Commission Records
Header image of the POST Commission Website. 

The Tribune does what the state does not.

While our main focus is Millbury, the fact of the matter is that what happens around us impacts what happens here in town. One statewide issue with local relevance is the establishment of a Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, better known as the POST Commission, at the state level. POST, in theory, is the body that handles police officer certification, tracks misconduct and complaints, and, eventually, will provide a searchable database of officers for the public to search and see any issues or complaints.

Or, at least, they're supposed to.

POST originally planned to have this database available to the public last May. The Commission, this past January, requested a new set of records, this time allowing departments to "exclude disciplinary records if their disposition was 'Not Sustained,' 'Unfounded,' or 'Exonerated.'" Further, POST is allowing departments to withhold information about officers without records or complaints, and officers who resigned or retired in good standing.

This simply isn't good enough.

For one, this has massive "we've investigated ourselves and found no wrongdoing" energy, as POST appears to be working under the assumption that internal affairs investigations are honest, or robust, or even done in good faith. As many have known, the truth is a lot more complicated than that.

The other reason, though? Most departments and municipalities have already complied with the broader ask. By POST's own admission last spring, they were missing data from "more than a dozen" agencies, and hundreds of municipalities and departments out there that are required to comply. The data is out there, and we don't have it.

So, over the next few weeks, months, whatever it is, the Bramanville Tribune is organizing all the records submitted to POST last spring. This means reaching out to each town to learn what they submitted, when they submitted, what they left out, and what POST isn't interested in letting you see. The log will be publicly available at this link as we organize, so keep checking back.

With more than 350 municipalities in the commonwealth, it's a huge undertaking. We would love your help. If you've previously requested this information, please forward the documents and communications over to us and we will add them to the list. Also, if you're interested in making some public records requests on our behalf, let us know.

This is what independent media is for, and if the state isn't going to do what it needs to do, it's up to us to do it for them.

Jeff Raymond is a Founding Editor of the Bramanville Tribune. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @jeffinmillbury