On the Question of Police Education

Police Unions Are Supportive of Higher Education

During the Q&A sessions with both guests, members raised the issue of police education and why it was so difficult to get through. Commissioner Calderone said that he attempted to include a two year degree in the initial qualifications for police officer. The commission rejected this. He noted that over half of the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association have some level of higher education degree. He described himself as a supporter of police education and added that it is often blocked by special interests, who see it limiting opportunities or by officers who do not possess degrees. John Nelson joined his voice in support of police education as well. He said he didn’t initially, but doffing his cap to his former Chief Bob Champaigne, MAPLE’s Vice President, he said he saw the light and now has a Master’s degree. Nelson shared an interesting discussion he had with Governor Baker. The Governor asked him why Massachusetts did not have any incidents like Ferguson or Minneapolis. Nelson replied “because we have an educated police force.”

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