Matthew Landry Appointed As New Director of Standards
The Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission conducted its monthly meeting on Thursday February 16, 2023 via zoom. Executive Director Enrique Zuniga offered a update on the statewide certification process. 10,043 police officer personnel records have been reviewed. 8,277 officers have been certified. Conditional certifications were issued to 235 officers and 313 officers have not been certified. Of the non-certified officers 173 were either on military or on sick leave with certifications pending, 46 retired in good standing prior to certification, and 57 failed MPTC training. 37 officers were not certified either due to suspensions, terminations or resignations, while disciplinary action was pending. Zuniga noted that 1,218 applications are still awaiting final review.
The Commission discussed its policy with regard to posting information on officers, who were not certified. The members adopted a policy that information on the officers, who failed MPTC training, or who were either disciplined or left while discipline was pending would be posted. There was one opposing vote. No information on the other categories will be posted. Zuniga also presented the outline for POST’s annual report. He identified the following topic areas: (1) the total caseload (2) complaints (3) patterns of conduct (he added not enough information has been received for this, at this time) (4) the number of de-certifications and suspensions.
Matthew Landry was introduced to the Commission as the top candidate for the position of Director of Standards. Landy was the top choice selected by a POST subcommittee consisting of Attorney Ravitz and Commissioners Kazarosian, West and Hinckle. Landry’s background includes the following: – 20 years of appeals court experience as clerk – service as Chief Legal Counsel to the RMV- 5 years of service in the AG’s office in the Medicare fraud unit and criminal bureau, and service as the Assistant Clerk of The House of Representatives. Landry is a US Naval reserve veteran and was on active duty from 2009 to 2010. He is a graduate of Hofstra University and received his Law degree from Suffolk Law School. Commissioner Kim West gave Landry a strong endorsement, having worked with him at the AG’s office. His was appointed by a unanimous vote by the commission. Landry offered remarks following his appointment. He said; “ I am inspired by the work that the Commission is doing, it is very important. I took an oath to serve the public and that is my center point. I will apply the rules and regulations fair and consistently.” Landry will oversee POST complaint investigations involving officers and will make recommendations as to disciplinary actions and certification status.
The Commission approved two rules and regulations. 555 CMR 8.00 governs the Commission’s data base and how it will disseminate information. Under the provisions of this regulation, the Commission will not post officer information on its website, until it takes final action on a pending matter. If the matter is subsequently vacated, information will be removed. Commissioner Calderone offered that nothing should be posted until all appeals are exhausted. Chair Hinckle responded, noting that initial court findings are public records. Calderone said, that a suspension by a police department should not be equated with a court finding. Hinckle said that the commission has been very sensitive to due process issues. Disciplinary information on officers will remain posted for 3 years at the suggestion of Commissioner Wynn. The original recommendation was for 5 years. The Commission approved this regulations with the changes notified. Calderone’s objections were not sustained and he did vote in support of the regulation.
With regard to 555CMR 11.0 the Commission committed itself to a petition process. Citizens can petition for items to be placed on the POST agenda, at the discretion of the Chair. The provisions of Chapter 30A MGL will govern. Once received, a petition can be scheduled by the chair for a hearing, with four commissioners present, to be held outside of the full commission’s monthly meeting. Director Zuniga reviewed the POST Commission budget. The Commission is requesting 9.1M to support its operations. It intends to move into a 900 sf office this July. Compensation for staff totaling 5M was reviewed and approved. There are currently 31 employees in the office and this expected to increase to 41 by next year.