Beyond the initial professional certification training, the Department of Public Safety invests heavily in the continued development of its police officers and dispatchers to ensure we bring current and progressive services and skills to every call we respond to.

As certified law enforcement officers under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 253 as well as certification under Chapter 22C section 63, all Public Safety officers are imbued by law with full police powers. As such, our officers complete a police academy developed and administered by the Municipal Police Training Committee. Some of our current police officers completed a police academy designed specifically for campus police and administered by the Massachusetts State Police.   

Our training does not stop with graduation from a police academy. 

Each year, every police officer in the state must complete 40 hours of in-service training designated by the Municipal Police Training Committee to maintain their certification. 

Additionally, Public Safety invests heavily in the training and continued development of its police officers and emergency dispatchers. All of our police officers and dispatchers have completed extensive training beyond what is required by the state in areas related to de-escalation and bias-free policing. 

The following is a summary of additional training we provide to and were required of our police officers between 2018 and 2021.

This course covers the following areas:

  • Conditions for effective de-escalation
  • Levels of anger escalation
  • What is crisis intervention?
  • De-escalation techniques
  • How do you de-escalate a conflict?
  • Verbal de-escalation, what it is, when to use it?
  • Verbal de-escalation tactics
  • Establishing an environmental baseline: Recognition and observation skills as it relates to identifying deviations from expected norms in a particular environment
  • Indicators of potential hostile /criminal intent 
  • Recognizing, decoding and deciphering nonverbal cues for both field and static interviews
  • Verbal and non-verbal indicators of potential deception

This course includes a general introduction to mental illness, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, interaction guidelines and de-escalation skills. 

A use-of-force training guide designed to fill a critical gap in training police officers in how to respond to volatile situations in which subjects are behaving erratically and often dangerously but do not possess a firearm. The Training Guide includes model lesson plans and support materials (including PowerPoint presentations, videos, and other resources) in the key areas of decision-making, crisis recognition and response, tactical communications and negotiations, and operational safety tactics. ICAT then integrates these skills and provides opportunities to practice them through video case studies and scenario-based training exercises.

Learn more about ICAT.

With the possible exception of implicit bias training, no other training is more often demanded by policymakers, politicians, police executives, academics, civil rights activists, and citizens than de-escalation training for police. This training program focuses on how effective communication, in many instances, can help us manage a multitude of situations without the use of force. In addition, we confront the difficult issues facing law enforcement today and explore some options to make the job safer and more effective.

This program has been designed to provide an understanding of our ever-present human biases and how they may affect our job performance and community relationships. The goal is to decrease the divide between law enforcement and various segments of the public and at the same time advance positive relations through fair and impartial policing. Part of this training will address police policies and procedures.

Bias-based policing occurs when an officer makes decisions or takes action based upon his or her own personal or societal biases or stereotypes, rather than relying on facts and observed behaviors. This program discusses in-depth understanding of bias and how to combat it and racial profiling.

Developed and delivered by the Holy Cross Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

This course series, based on the Commonwealth's Diversity Curriculum, includes two parts. Part 1 sets the foundation, offers a cultural competence self-assessment, introduces a layered concept of diversity, and discusses the many "-isms" that have become a part of our everyday lives. Part 2 provides an expanded view of diversity; explores the impact of language, communication, conversation, and dialogue; offers how to better serve your communities; and gives an opportunity for self-reflection.

Focus on the four pillars: fairness, impartiality, giving voice, transparency.

Procedural justice refers to the idea of fairness in the processes that resolve disputes and allocate resources. It is not a practice, but a philosophy and a movement which promotes positive organizational change, upholds police legitimacy in the community, and enhances officer safety.

Grant-funded training through CRI-TAC and Center for Applied Insight Conflict Resolution

Insight Policing offers a strategic conflict resolution and communication skill-set framework that prepares officers to recognize conflict behavior in challenging encounters and use targeted skills to understand it, defuse it, and respond to it effectively, safely and with legitimacy.

Public Safety officers also receive specialized training individually as it contributes to the services we provide. Examples of these additional certifications include sexual assault investigation, civil rights crimes investigation, hate crime investigation, crime scene processing and evidence recovery, and cybercrime investigation.