Police chiefs investigate Island interest in officer training

The Martha’s Vineyard Chiefs of Police Association is interested in providing a training course this winter for those interested in becoming part-time and summer police officers. But Island chiefs want to gauge the level of public interest before they proceed with scheduling, Aquinnah Police Chief Randhi Belain said.

All police job candidates are required to complete a Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) certified Reserve Intermittent Police Officer training class. A change in the mandatory class time requirements from 180 hours to 242 hours is behind the effort.

Chief Belain, association training liaison, said that in the past he was able to schedule the class in the spring and qualify individuals for summer work by July 1. The increase in required class hours makes that more difficult.

As a result, Chief Belain said, the association has taken steps to provide MPTC-certified training in the winter months using a combination of Island and off-Island instructors. “The goal,” Mr. Belain said, “is to train people who are Island residents to become police officers, either by starting as a traffic officer or summer officer, with the possibility of becoming a part-time year round special officer.”

Class participants would need to be approved and sponsored by the chief in his or her respective town. Completion of the class does not guarantee a job, but it is a first step. Class topics would include criminal law, Constitutional law, and applied patrol procedures.

Mr. Belain said the association is considering a February start date and a schedule of two weekday nights and weekends. “The Association is trying to gauge if there is enough interest from the public to participate before we commit to having the class,” he said.

Interested applicants are asked to contact the chief of police in their town.