13 is not the right number

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Reading about the investigation into misconduct at the MBTA Police Academy jogged my memory to a story earlier in the week about little-used police academies. Let’s look at the list of police academies:

State Entities — MBTA, State Police
State-Run for Localities — Randolph, Springfield, Reading, Boylston, Plymouth, New Bedford, and Foxborough
Locally-Run — Boston, Lowell, Springfield, and Worcester

Does this make any sense, particularly in this period when few new officers are being hired? Wouldn’t consolidation lower costs (for the state and municipalities) and improve the level of training?

My favorite part of the story is the chief from Walpole stating that they don’t use the Randolph training center because the drive is too long in the mornings. I know what he is saying but the two towns are 13 miles apart.

It’s also noteworthy that many of the chiefs avoid using the facilities because of the costs involved with overtime and mileage, which I have to assume comes from collective bargaining.

Many of our public assets, like National Guard facilities and courthouses, are distributed throughout the state on the basis of outdated historical need (e.g. Vermont is not going to invade, we don’t need National Guard facilities within a day’s horseback ride) or political privilege (see the Globe’s editorial on courthouses). We can’t afford it anymore.