CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Safety Committee Meeting

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:32 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:27 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Kathleen M Toomey
Vice Chairperson Morris A Bergman
Councilor Luis A Ojeda
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Kathleen M. Toomey Councilor Morris A. Bergman Councilor Luis A. Ojeda
 
Also:Interim Police Chief Paul Saucier IBPO Local 504 President Richard Cipro NEPBA Local 911 President Thomas Duffy WPD Lieutenant Sean Murtha Deputy City Clerk Clare M. Robbins, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-In Information

1a.

Pursuant to Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 and in order to ensure active, public engagement, the City of Worcester currently allows for both in-person and remote participation at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in the meeting, you may attend the meeting in-person within the meeting location, follow the below link to join via Zoom or dial the direct line as indicated.

Public Safety Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/93622914564
Public Safety Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Public Safety Committee Zoom Access Code: 936 2291 4564

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Public Safety hereby approves the minutes of the Public Safety Committee meeting on December 12, 2023.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and moved to adopt the item. Order adopted

3.

Miscellaneous Item

3a.

Petition of Danny Diaz request City Council request City Manager consider reviewing the age requirement to become a police officer by raising the age limit from 32 to 38. # 7a CC January 23, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Danny Diaz, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized the Interim Police Chief, who spoke concerning raising the age limit from 32 to 38 for police officer recruitment.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who discussed the age limit relative to lateral hiring process with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized the IBPO Local 504 President, who discussed raising the age limit for police recruitment and retirement.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed increasing diversity in recruitment for WPD with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a report concerning the necessary steps to enact a home rule petition to raise the age requirement upper limit for the Civil Service Exam from 32 to 40 years old.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who discussed the decreasing number of police officers living in the city and possible strategies to encourage police officers to reside in Worcester with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following two (2) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning best practices used nationally to create a residency incentive program for police officers; and 2) Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a legal opinion concerning the creation of a residency incentive program for police officers.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed whether exit interviews are given to police officers who leave for another jurisdiction with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey then discussed whether there are restrictions relative to physical ability for officers at retirement age with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning incentives that could be provided relative to physical ability test, in an effort to enhance the physical health of police officers.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized the IBPO Local 504 President, who discussed the required physical ability tests for the Police Academy.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to amend the item to read as follows, ďPetition of Danny Diaz request City Council request City Manager consider reviewing the age requirement to become a police officer by raising the age limit from 32 to 40.Ē

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be filed as amended.

Recommend File as Amended

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a report concerning the necessary steps to enact a home rule petition to raise the age requirement upper limit for the Civil Service Exam from 32 to 40 years old.

Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning best practices used nationally to create a residency incentive program for police officers.

Request City Manager request City Solicitor provide City Council with a legal opinion concerning the creation of a residency incentive program for police officers.

Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning incentives that could be provided relative to physical ability test, in an effort to enhance the physical health of police officers.

4.

Communications of the City Manager - Police Department

4a.

Transmitting Informational Communication Relative to Information on Gun Violence and Firearms Seized by the Worcester Police Department. # 9.13B CM February 6, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the Interim Police Chief, who discussed the types and numbers of firearms that were seized by the WPD in 2023, partnerships with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for prosecution of crimes relative to gun violence, the percentage of people whose firearms were seized from were previously arrested for illegal firearms possession and number of people who legally own more than one firearm and more than one type of firearm.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning the Worcester Police Departmentís partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) relative to gun violence cases.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed whether the people whose guns were seized from were city residents and process concerning reporting missing or stolen firearms with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who discussed how many firearms seized have been traced to missing or stolen firearms reports and other sources, whether there is difference between 2022 and 2023 trends relative to firearms seized, the ages of people who were arrested for illegal firearms possession and statistics and trends relative to gun violence and firearms seized with the Interim Police Chief and the WPD Lieutenant.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed the effect and efficacy of ShotSpotter Connect program and the process relative to investigating gun violence incidents and ShotSpotter calls with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who discussed the trend of increase in bullet rounds being used at crime scenes with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager request Police Chief provide City Council with a report concerning the Worcester Police Departmentís partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) relative to gun violence cases.

4b.

Transmitting Informational Communication Relative to Drug Trafficking Statistics. # 9.13A CM February 6, 2024

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Toomey read the item and recognized the Interim Police Chief, who discussed the definition of drugs trafficking, the number of drugs trafficking arrests, firearms seized statistics relative to drugs trafficking arrests, the classification of xylazine as a controlled substance and usage of xylazine with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Bergman, who discussed proposed state legislations to prosecute 18Ė20-year-olds as juveniles and whether they are inclusive of gun and drugs related offenses with the Interim Police Chief.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey recognized Councilor Ojeda, who discussed areas in the city where drug deals often occur, where drugs with xylazine are found, data concerning age groups relative to drugs with xylazine usage and public education programs to increase public awareness concerning drugs with fentanyl and xylazine with the Interim Police Chief and the WPD Lieutenant.

Chairperson Councilor Toomey moved to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File