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Mass. COs push to fall under LEOSA

The law is intended to protect law enforcement officers from criminals they dealt with in the past

By Corrections1 Staff

BOSTON — Current and retired corrections officers in Massachusetts are pushing for a change to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act.

In 2004, The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act went into effect, allowing all current and retired LEOs to carry concealed weapons without a state-issued permit.The law is intended to protect them from criminals they dealt with in the past.

But COs do not have that ability, MassLive reports. A bill pending before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security would make all COs in the state eligible for the federal law.

“Correction officers get threatened on a regular basis behind the walls, and when they retire they (should) have that right to protect their families and have the other rights that other retired law enforcement have,” James Raymond, a retired corrections officer from Lunenburg, said.

Chuck Dwyer, legislative representative for the Massachusetts Correction Officers Federated Union, said COs are threatened on a daily basis by inmates at their workplace. He added that former inmates and even terrorist organizations can target officers even well after they’re released.

Former CO Harold Marshal said the bill will allow officers to protect not only themselves, but their families as well.

“You’re walking downtown, you got your family with you and an ex-con recognizes you and is a gang member. How am I going to protect my family?” Marshall said.