For further information, contact:
Kelly McFalls, Public Information Officer & Webmaster
150 Concord Street
Framingham, MA 01702
Tel: (508) 532-5437
Framingham, MA – On Monday, December 3, the City received the Framingham Police Department Assessment from J. Flagg Consulting, which was hired to conduct a management study of the Department in July. After taking a few days to digest and share the report with Framingham’s police leadership and unions, the City posted it on its website here.
· Not intended to contribute to the Police Chief selection.
· Extensive amount of time spent talking with individuals about the Department:
o 62% of the Department interviewed;
o All 11 City Councilors interviewed;
o Over 20 individuals outside the Department (but with first-hand knowledge of the Department or law enforcement) interviewed.
· The consultant acknowledged receiving full support and cooperation from the Administration and both Unions.
· Framingham is in early stages of transitioning from a town to a city government philosophically, as well as practically. This is a challenge.
· The Police Department is committed to improvement.
· City leaders and residents should be reassured and proud that the Department is professional, responsible and has a strong commitment to the principles of law enforcement.
· There wasn’t any corruption or unlawful actions discovered as a result of this project.
Challenges Uncovered by the Report:
· Changing the culture. The Department has experienced many years of eroding confidence in the way decisions have been made. Several Administrations have contributed to the belief among some that decision making around assignments, discipline and treatment is based on who you are and not what you do. Obviously this needs to be changed and there are several recommendations in the report that address this issue.
· Officer Wellness. The report makes it clear that the safety, physical and mental health of Officers is an area that we need to pay attention to. The Chief and his Administration has already started to work on this, and the Mayor will be working with them to make sure that some of these long standing issues about overtime and staffing are addressed.
· The changing nature and demographic of police. Almost half of the Officers in the Department have less than five years of experience and are young chronologically. If half of the workforce is of a different generation than the leadership, it can present challenges. The report makes a number of recommendations about how to adapt to the changing demographic.
· Officer retention. A challenge is keeping good Officers in Framingham. The Department will likely lose some Officers to the state police, which occurs regularly in many cities and towns. Framingham will have to take those changes into consideration as it plans for the future. Pay is an area cited as a serious concern to many of the Officers.
There are a series of recommendations in the report that address these concerns. In the coming weeks, Chief Steve Trask will establish which ones will be addressed first and a timeline. Note that page seven references “attachment A,” which is a strategic plan. See here for the attachment.
Overall, the assessment states that Framingham is a great community. The residents and city leaders should work to support the Police as they transform into a Department that can be used as a model throughout the country.