Patriot Ledger, January 2022
Good policing no longer equates to the most arrests made, Randolph police officers say. “It’s really not what it’s about anymore,” Detective Sgt. Jason Fisher said recently at the Randolph police station. “It’s about solving problems.” The Randolph Police Department has announced an expansion of its “civil rights unit,” a part of the department that handles reports of hate crimes and community outreach. Commander Melissa Greener supervises the now three-person unit, and the team sat down to discuss what the expansion means, why it’s needed and how the department aims to help the Randolph community.
What is a civil rights unit?
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued a recommendation in November 2018 that encouraged every law enforcement agency in the state to designate one officer as a “point person on hate crimes.” The civil rights officer is to be responsible not just for reviewing reports for possible hate crimes, but also engaging with the community as a liaison, the recommendation says. Other directives include making data on reported hate crimes more transparent and accessible to the public, and having civil rights officers attend free training provided by the Municipal Police Training Council.