Massachusetts police the most secretive in the nation

Massachusetts police the most secretive in the nation


Massachusetts was once at the forefront of liberty

 but sadly it's now at the forefront for having some of the most secretive police in the country.

The Mass. State Police are the most secretive department in the country! 

They make it extremely difficult for the public to access any information.

It normally takes months or longer to respond to news media FOI requests. Requests for basic documents routinely produce refusals, large portions of blacked out documents or demands for tens of thousands of dollars in unjustified fees. Among them, a $42,750 fee for the log of its public records requests and a $62,220 fee for records of crashes involving police cruisers sought by the Boston Globe. A Bay State Examiner reporter was told to pay a $710.50 “non-refundable research fee” to get an estimate of the fee he would have to pay to obtain copies of internal affairs reports.  

The Mass.State Police asked the 

Bay State Examiner


pay a $710 non-refundable fee

—in order for the agency to come up with an estimate for the actual fee to fulfill the records request. (Examiner co-founder Andrew Quemere shared documents with showing that the state’s supervisor of public records later ruled the fee invalid, though State Police asked for more than $9,000 to process the originally requested records.)

The Mass. State Police have foiled public records requests in other ways too—such as by redacting entire pages of documents, delaying their release, or plainly refusing to release them.

Reporter Tom Wollack nominated the agency out of “a combination of both my own experience and talking to other people: attorneys, bloggers, and other journalists,” he said. “Everyone I know who has filed a public records request with State Police has a horror story about State Police.”

In January the Mass. State Police 

released redacted Stingray usage documents

 which are for all intents and purposes are useless.

Police across the country want to keep Stingray surveillance a secret, the FBI is commanded

police to ignore court orders and sabotage criminal cases rather than reveal information about Stingrays


The Boston police taking a cue from the State Police on how to stall FOI requests, were ordered to

stop issuing template FOI rejection notices regarding Stingray usage.

It took the Boston Police a few months to come up with another B.S. argument claiming that revealing Stingray information 

would make them "essentially useless."

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette concluded:

 “The Massachusetts State Police is a habitual offender – verging on a career criminal – when it comes to breaking a state law intended to ensure government is accountable to the people it serves.” 

West Boylston private investigator John M. Lajoie, who recently took the unusual step of filing a misconduct complaint against current state police Chief Legal Counsel Michael B. Halpin over the issue, said in an interview: 

“What really frosts me the most is when the people who are supposed to enforce the law violate the law.”

Here's another example of police secrecy, 

Mass. law enforcement agencies claimed they're private mercenaries'

 and are exempt from FOIA requests. Click 


 to read more.

In January of this year the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) said it's immune from the disclosure requirements of the Public Records Law because it is not among the types of entities covered by the law. The law names only entities created by the state and its political subdivisions, such as cities and towns, NEMLEC said."

“That claim is wrong,” the Civil Liberties Union responded in its motion asking the Suffolk Superior Court to keep the suit alive. “Controlled by an executive board of police chiefs and substantially funded by taxpayer dollars, NEMLEC possesses equipment and conducts operations that are lawful only when possessed or conducted by public entities. The police officers who participate in NEMLEC operations do so under the color of law, with the full privileges and immunities of a law enforcement agency.” 

No one is monitoring police 1033 weapon's acquisitions:

The Mass. State Police are supposed to oversee police militarization in the state. Police departments across the state have been receiving tanks, assault weapons, grenade launchers etc., However they claim they don't know (won't divulge) which police departments have acquired them.

“The State Police clearly haven’t been providing the required oversight, which is just one of many problems with the 1033 program’s implementation in Massachusetts,” Crockford said. “The Department of Defense in past years put the program on hold because of non-compliance with the program’s rules in the states, and it seems like that might need to happen again” said Kade Crockford from the ACLU.

The Mass. State Police want almost 

$600 to release redacted 1033 documents


Police departments statewide have taken cues from the State Police and the Boston Police by ignoring redacting or charging HUGE fees for FOI requests.

Mass. public records law is a joke and police openly ignore FOI requests. Under Mass. law police departments can deny public records requests without any consequences.

Secretary of State William Galvin’s office has established the police as the arbiters and censors of arrest records. Galvin’s office ruled that Boston police can withhold the names of five police officers who were caught driving drunk. 

The state’s supervisor of public records, Shawn Williams, ruled in favor of the State Police, finding that police had “the discretion to withhold records”

It will cost you 

hundreds if not thousands of dollars to find out about police misconduct in Mass


Recent examples of secretive Massachusetts police departments:

Watertown Police Chief 

defends SWAT secrecy


However, we are [currently keeping the records confidential] to protect our officers and our citizens. I would think most people would support us on that," Chief Edward Deveau said.

Quincy Police 

ignore FOI drone requests


Harvard and Cambridge Police 

wanted $200 dollars to release officer emails


Cambridge Police 

refuse to release use of deadly force policy


Somerville Police 

deny weapons [1033] request

. (2013)

Mass. MIT and Harvard Police 

denied Aaron Swartz's FOI request