A resolution offered by Boston City Councilor Michael Flaherty, allowing retired Boston police offices to become Special Police Offices and work private business details throughout the city has been approved by the Boston City Council.
While the bill found its way through the Council, it still requires Mayor Martin Walsh’s signature and be approved in the Legislature.
It must also survive possible opposition from the MBTA Police Union and discussion with the Boston Police Patrolman’s Association.
The measure, a home rule petition, would, just like 175 police departments throughout Massachusetts, allowing retired Boston police (no older than 68) to handle some of the unfilled private details in the city.
Requests from private vendors, construction, utility companies and entertainment venues have increased, according to Councilor Flaherty. “We don’t have enough officers to fill these request.”
There have been many times the North End Feasts have not been able to fill their detail request.
Reportedly, the city received a 10 percent administrative fee for each detail ($35 to $37 an hour). If the bill is enacted it could raise millions of dollars for the city over the years.
While Mayor Martin Walsh has not indicated his opinion on the bill, Police Commissioner Bill Evans through a spokesperson noted, “The idea is a way to put well-trained, fully trained, experienced Boston police officers on the streets every day and there’s clearly a benefit to that.”
Commissioner Evans would have the final say on selections for Special Police Offices that will be subject to passing physical examinations and other requirements.
In a statement, the Mayor said he is looking forward “to learning more and working with the Council on this proposal”.
Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina whose district includes the North End voted in favor of the home rule petition.
The bill still needs the Mayor’s signature and Legislature approval before heading to the Governor’s Office for his signature.