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Retired Judge To Chair New Mass. Policing Commission

A former Massachusetts Superior Court judge selected by Gov. Charlie Baker will head up the state's brand new commission tasked with certifying and holding police officers accountable.

The state's top executive and law enforcement official made public on Thursday their picks to the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission. The state's new policing reform law required Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey to appoint members to the POST Commission by April 1.

The nine-member commission is one of the central parts of the reform law Baker signed at the end of December. Lawmakers have previously said it is the only civilian-led entity with the power to craft policing standards, certify law enforcement officers, and revoke officers' certifications if they violate those standards.

In a joint press release from Baker and Healey, their offices said the commission would 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 offices said.

Baker selected former Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Margaret Hinkle to serve as chair of the commission. She recently worked for JAMS, a private alternative dispute resolution provider, and earlier in her career was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Boston on the Economic Crimes Unit.

"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," Baker said in a statement. "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."

Each commissioner can serve up to five years or until a successor is appointed, according to the law, and no commissioner can serve more than 10 years. The rest of the commissioners, including biographical information provided by the governor's office, are as follows:

Governor's Appointees

  • Michael Wynn, Pittsfield police chief
  • Charlene Luma, a licensed social worker, chief of the Victim Witness Assistance Program for the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office

Attorney General's Appointees

  • Lawrence Calderone, Boston police officer, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association
  • Larry Ellison, Boston police detective, former president of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers
  • Marsha Kazarosian, trial attorney specializing in civil rights, former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association

Joint Appointees

  • Dr. Hanya Bluestone, a licensed psychologist specializing in trauma and behavioral medicine, CEO of Labyrinth Psychological Services
  • Clementina Chéry, an ordained senior chaplain, co-founder and CEO of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which focuses on healing, teaching, and learning for families and communities impacted by homicide, trauma, grief, and loss.
  • Kimberly West, partner at Boston's Ashcroft Law Firm, former AG's office criminal bureau chief

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