Mass. Gov. Announces Big State Police Reforms Following Overtime Scandal

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Rachel Mandelbaum / Office of Gov. Charlie Baker

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Atlanta councilman loses access to 16 years of records … Oregon is a “beacon” for families struggling with fertility … Texas city poised to sell off more local parks ... and a Michigan county seeks to divert 90 percent of its trash.

Here are state and local government stories that caught Route Fifty’s attention ...

LAW ENFORCEMENT | Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced a series of State Police reforms following a massive overtime scandal involving 30 troopers. One of the governor's moves includes eliminating Troop E, the State Police unit assigned to the Massachusetts Turnpike and tunnels, which has been at the center of the scandal. The governor said that GPS devices would be activated in State Police cruisers and a body-worn camera program would be introduced. The overtime payments for shifts never worked was discovered during the course of an internal audit. "The Massachusetts State Police has a long and honorable history,” Baker said at a State House news conference on Monday. “The men and women who've worked there for generations earned that honor. That history, that reputation, has been tarnished." Dana Pullman, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, said that the changes shouldn’t amount to “a knee jerk reaction” to allegations involving a small part of the force. [NECN; Office of Gov. Charlie Baker]

Without comment on Monday, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer approved legislation that would, starting in 2020, require police agencies in the state to publicly disclose property they’ve seized in the course of investigating crimes and how they’ve used it. Critics of law enforcement’s use of asset forfeitures, as it’s called, say the practice incentivizes more seizures. [Wichita Eagle]

CYBERSECURITY | Here’s something local government officials, managers and employees everywhere should be thinking about as the Atlanta’s city government tries to recover from its crippling March 22 ransomware attack, which has caused major disruption at city hall and local courts: Councilman Howard Shook told Reuters that his office lost 16 years of digital records—yes, 16 years of records. "It's extraordinarily frustrating," Shook said. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has stressed that the city is open for business. Atlanta’s ransomware incident FAQ page for city employees includes questions like: “I was signed into the City’s Wi-Fi network on my personal mobile, should I be worried?” and “How will we be notified when we can regain secure access to the City’s network?” [Reuters; Gizmodo; CISO Mag; City of Atlanta]

North Dakota’s chief information officer, Shawn Riley, told a recent gathering of state department heads that they can’t assume that cyberattackers will simply overlook their state because of its size. In fact, North Dakota already a target: “On average, we defend 7.3 million attacks a month. They're comin' after us," he said, noting that the state’s broader IT network, which includes the state universities, supports 252,000 people. [Prairie Public Radio]

ELSEWHERE …

Snow near Lake Tahoe (Shutterstock)
  • San Francisco, California: March brought a good amount of precipitation to thirsty California, including much needed snowpack to the Sierra Nevada and lower Cascade mountains. The Sierra snowpack, which so many Californians rely on for drinking water, is is “52 percent of average for this time of year.” So, that’s enough to get the Golden State through another year. “These snowpack results—while better than they were a few weeks ago—still underscore the need for widespread careful and wise use of our water supplies,” according to California Department of Water Resources Director Karla Nemeth. [San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate;  YubaNet]
  • Allentown, Pennsylvania: Ray O’Connell, a former school district administrator and city council president, started work Monday as Allentown’s new mayor on Monday after being appointed to the position last week by the city council. Former Mayor Ed Pawlowski retired last month after pleading guilty to federal charges related to bribery. [The Morning Call]
  • Corpus Christi, Texas: City council members last week considered a bill on first reading that would sell three city-owned parks to private entities. The proceeds from the sales will go toward improvements for other parks.  Voters approved the sale of 17 city parks in 2014. [Caller Times]
  • Knoxville, Tennessee: The chief of the Knoxville Police Department, David Rausch, took “47 trips that spanned 166 days and 15 states, plus Washington, D.C., where he trekked four times. In an interview, Rausch said that his official work travel is “always to benefit this department, to benefit this city and this profession.” [Knoxville News Sentinel / KnoxNews.com]
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia: The editorial board of The Virginian-Pilot newspaper took Virginia Beach’s city manager to task for texts that surfaced where he “comports himself like a schoolyard bully while carrying out the public’s business.” That includes, in one message, bloodying the nose of Aubrey Layne, then the state’s transportation secretary. Furthermore, The Virginian-Pilot’s editorial says that as city manager, Dave Hansen “should know that communication such as this is accessible under FOIA since he is a public official ostensibly conducting the people’s business.” [The Virginian-Pilot]
  • Bend, Oregon: Because Oregon lacks rules or laws regarding surrogacy, the state has “become a beacon for couples desperate to start a family while struggling with fertility issues.” [The Bulletin]
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan: After posting an unusual request for information last month, Kent County waste management officials took a dozen business professionals on a three-hour bus tour around the county to see various facilities that handle trash. The Kent County Public Works Department is looking for creative solutions and “innovative enterprises” to help them divert 90 percent of the county’s trash from landfills by 2030. [The Grand Rapids Press / MLive.com]

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive's Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
St. Louis Uses Interactive Kiosks as a Critical COVID-19 Communications Platform
St. Louis, MO, USA
Forecasting Ambulance Needs for the City of San Diego
San Diego, CA, USA
A large urban park creates a "connected" visitor experience with SMART.NODEs™
Sydney NSW, Australia

NEXT STORY: Violent Acts in Public Places Fuel Interest in Secure Design

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.