Rule 400 - Special Police Officers This Rule establishes the Boston Police Department's policies


Rule 400 - Special Police Officers This Rule establishes the Boston Police Department's policies for Special Police Officers licensed by the Police Commissioner, but not employed by the City of Boston or the Boston Housing Authority. Its provisions are effective immediately, superseding all previously issued rules, and procedures, orders and directives concerning such licensed Special Officers. As used in this Rule, "Licensing Unit" shall mean the Boston Police Licensing Unit.


Sec. 1 QUALIFICATION OF APPLICANTS: Each person applying for a Special Officer’s License, whether individually or as a corporate-sponsored applicant, shall meet the following qualifications to the satisfaction of the Licensing Unit: • Be a United States citizen; • Be at least 21 years of age; · Reside within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; • Be able to read, write and understand the English language; • Have a High School Diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.); • Be capable of physically, emotionally and mentally performing the duties of a licensed Special Officer within the scope of this Rule; • Be a suitable person of good moral character.


The BPD will take into account the following factors when considering candidates with prior arrests, convictions, restraining orders, or adjudications: • Severity of prior offense(s); • Specific safety concerns in view of the proposed assignment; • Candidate’s conduct since resolution of related legal matters.


Persons wishing to obtain or renew a Special Officer’s license must pass a course of instruction and written test approved by the Police Commissioner.


Sec. 2 APPLICATIONS: All applicants for Special Officer Licenses shall present themselves in person to the Licensing Unit. Applicants shall fill out the application form completely and truthfully and signed it. Applicants shall pay fees established by the City Council for Special Officer licenses and badges before they are issued.


Applicants may complete applications for new licenses at any time. Applicants shall file applications for the renewal of licenses already in existence at least 30 days prior to expiration. In accordance with the provisions of Chapter 282 of the Acts of 1898, all licenses shall expire annually on the first day of April, except that the Licensing Unit may issue licenses in March, valid for 12 months, beginning the next succeeding first day of April. Persons whose licenses have expired and have not been reissued may be prosecuted if continuing to act as Special Officers (M.G.L. c. 268, § 33, Impersonating a Police Officer).


Sec. 3 LICENSES: Special Officers under this Rule are licensed by the Police Commissioner to serve without pay from the City of Boston and are not considered employees of the City of Boston as a consequence of this appointment. A. The corporation or person applying for a license under this section shall be held liable for the official misconduct of officers appointed on such application. B. Each individual applicant must sign group applications made by or on behalf of more than one person. A duly authorized agent must sign applications from a corporation and must present a certified copy of a corporate vote authorizing the application. All applicants shall be required to state the nature of their interest in the property or locality for which the officer is to be appointed; that is to say, whether as owners, lessees, agents or managers. C. Based upon an employer’s request or upon such other reason as the Police Commissioner may determine, a licensee may be forbidden to carry a firearm. This restriction shall be noted on their license (CBC St. 11 §15).


Sec. 4 TRAINING: All persons seeking a Special Officer license must pass a course of instruction approved by the Police Commissioner. After successful completion, applicants must pass a Licensing Examination developed and administered by the Police Department’s Training & Education Division. The examination tests the applicant’s knowledge of: • His/her duties and responsibilities as a Special Officer; • The law; and • The proper use of non-lethal force.


The Training and Education Division shall also test applicants who are licensed to carry a firearm and who are authorized to carry one in the course of their employment. This test shall cover the proper use of deadly force, in addition to meeting the requirements of Section 10 of this rule, Firearms. The Training and Education Division shall test each Special Officer applicant on the weapon he/she will carry while on duty. Once qualified, the Special Officer shall only carry, while on duty, the firearm with which he/she qualified. Special Officers must take the Licensing Examination every three years.


Sec. 5 POWERS AND AUTHORITY: Special Officers licensed under the provisions of this Rule shall have, while their license is in force, the power of police officers to make arrests, preserve order and enforce the laws of the Commonwealth and ordinances of the City of Boston limited to the premises or locality specified in the license. Special Officers are prohibited from applying for or executing search warrants.


Sec. 6 DUTY TO OBEY AND COOPERATE: It is the duty of every licensed Special Officer to observe and obey this Rule and all orders of Boston police officers in matters involving the need for police service. It is the duty of every Special Officer to cooperate with Boston police officers. Boston police officers, in turn, shall cooperate with a licensed Special Officer in the performance of his/her respective duties, rendering assistance as needed.


Whenever a Boston police officer responds to or is present at an incident, the judgment of the Boston police officer shall prevail. Except for those situations where the only involvement of the Boston police officer is to transport prisoners, the Boston police officer is responsible for the proper handling and reporting of such incident, in conformance with Department policies in effect at the time.


Participation by licensed Special Officers, on or off duty, in police action where police officers are present, shall be limited to identifying themselves to the officer(s) and offering their assistance.


Licensed Special Officers shall assist police officers, when requested, in preserving peace or taking a prisoner to a District Station. All incidents requiring a police report in which a licensed Special Officer is involved shall be reported to the District Station responsible for the area in which the incident occurred. Such reports shall be submitted immediately after the incident.



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