massachusetts state police
Four years after “winning” the Golden Padlock, Massachusetts State Police remains committed to secrecy
More often than not, Massachusetts has been hailed as one of the worst states in terms of access to information, blocking access to the judiciary, the legislature, and the office of the governor. Even more alarming, lengthy response times and frequently cited exemptions by its police departments all contribute to that reputation for restrictiveness. In fact, in 2015, the Massachusetts State Police won a unique award for its “contributions” to access.
Public records advocates have always fought for stronger laws that allow for better oversight and accountability. Despite these efforts, law enforcement agencies are still finding loopholes to allow for the retention of information. While new police transparency bills in California and a recent public records overhaul in Massachusetts are huge victories for access, requesters still face serious barriers when trying to peek past the thin blue line.
The recently revamped Massachusetts public records law is still hailed as one of the worst in the country. Agencies have ten days to respond to public records request, but some agencies, especially law enforcement agencies, have trouble abiding by the law.
MuckRock has been filing requests around long range acoustic devices in an effort to learn about policies, usage, the variety of different devices, and the price tags involved with these high powered sound cannons. So far, we have managed to get some particularly illuminating material from Chicago, Houston, and the Massachusetts State Police.
In May, Massachusetts State Police was paid over $ 115 thousand for “pipeline authority” and “pipeline security” services by Kinder Morgan, Inc, recently-released records reveal.