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Randall E. Ravitz, Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission

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As the first general counsel of the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission, Randall E. Ravitz faced a number of obstacles.

In the fall of 2021, it started from scratch, with no staff, no offices, and a mission that was unprecedented in the Commonwealth. He also faced deadlines to draft and promulgate guidelines and regulations for the more than 22,000 law enforcement officers and 351 agencies.

You may be sitting in front of a computer writing some dry policy, but you have the potential to make a difference to the way people behave in a way that could save lives.

“It has been a challenge, but also exciting and interesting,” he says. “We are all committed to doing things fairly and rationally, taking into account all different perspectives and interests. That makes things difficult, but hopefully people will look at the process and see that this is how we’re approaching things, and then have confidence in the enforcement of the law.”

In his less than three years, Ravitz has already instituted diversity hiring practices, developed a legal team, and formulated policies and protocols related to the new agency’s operations; He has also written regulations governing the certification and discipline of law enforcement officers, standards applicable to officers serving in schools, the release of information about officers, and the evaluation of law enforcement performance.

The commission has already experienced some successes. The regulations that Ravitz developed now have the force of law and have been implemented, and new standards governing admission and service in the law enforcement profession have been implemented: officers who perform well are being certified, those who participate in misconduct are being disciplined and the The public has access to voluminous information about others.

“We have a huge responsibility on our shoulders,” he says. “The decisions we make have the potential to impact people in important ways. You may be sitting in front of a computer writing some dry policy or set of regulations, but you have the potential to make a difference to the way people behave in a way that could save lives or prevent deaths. And that’s why we constantly ask ourselves if we are doing it right.”

Prior to joining the POST Commission, Ravitz served for 17 years in the Attorney General’s Office, as a Deputy Attorney General and chief of the Criminal Bureau’s Appellate Division, where he had the opportunity to argue in courts at all state and federal levels. . system, including the United States Supreme Court.

A member of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists and the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, he served as co-chair of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Section of the Boston Bar Association and of the Public Policy Committee of the Litigation Section, as well as mentor of the BBA Diversity and Inclusion Section. Ravitz was an appointed member of the Supreme Judicial Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Bar Clerks Committee for Review of Rules of Appellate Procedure and was an elected official in the City of Brookline for many years.