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The Mapping Project

Greater Boston Police Council

The Greater Boston Police Council (GBPC), like other "Law Enforcement Councils" (LECs) in Massachusetts, is a non-profit corporation set up as a professional membership organization that links police forces across the region in communications, joint training exercises, collective purchases of equipment and joint actions. LECs in Massachusetts have played a central role in militarizing police forces by organizing SWAT teams and purchasing military equipment such as Lenco Bearcats and other armored vehicles. LECs have tried to assert their status as private organizations to refuse public records requests about their activities. (See also separate entry on NEMLEC.)

The Greater Boston Police Council manages the Boston Area Police Emergency Radio Network (BAPERN), which was developed in the 1970s to link communications between police in Boston, Cambridge, and other police departments in the urban core. According to the GBPC website, in 2019 the network had grown to include "181 law enforcement agencies."

In addition to BAPERN, the Greater Boston Police Council organizes joint training programs and works with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to purchase police equipment. MAPC is also the agency that manages federal Homeland Security grants for regional Homeland Security Advisory Councils. Under cover of "disaster preparedness" and "counterterrorism," these Advisory Councils, in turn, provide funding for training and equipment to militarize police forces in their regions, often through the corresponding Law Enforcement Councils. (See entry on Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) Jurisdictional Point of Contact Committee (JPOC))

The Greater Boston Police Council is explicit about the political purpose behind its creation:

"The period 1968–1972 was a period of great civil unrest nationwide, the focus being namely America’s involvement in Vietnam. Given the large number of colleges and universities in the area, Boston was a hotbed of dissent. In late ’69, there were some very loud protests in the Boston/Cambridge area, some of which produced violence and destruction.

To properly police these disturbances, Boston and/or Cambridge had to request help from other Eastern Massachusetts police agencies. Although many communities sent aid, the large complicating factor was the lack of communication between departments."

The GBPC's published full membership list includes 137 municipal police agencies, including Boston (Commissioner William Gross), Brookline (Chief Andrew Lipson), Cambridge (Commissioner Branville Bard), Chelsea (Chief Brian Kyes), and Somerville (Chief David Fallon). There are six state police agencies including the Massachusetts State Police (Col. Terri Gilpin) and the MBTA Police (Chief Kenneth Green); five Sheriffs, including Middesex (Sheriff Peter Koutoujian) and Suffolk (Sheriff Steven Tomkins); and eight federal agencies, including the FBI (Harold Shaw, Special Agent in Charge) and the National Park Service Police (Supt. Ethan Beeler).

The GBPC also includes 20 colleges and 3 hospitals, including all of the following: Berklee School of Music PD (Chief David Ransom); Beth Israel Lahey Public Safety Department (Christopher Casey, Director); Boston College Police (Chief Bill Evans); Boston University Police (Chief Kelley Nee); Brigham & Women's Hospital (Chief David Corbin); Bunker Hill Community College (Chief Robert Bowers); Emerson College Police (Chief Robert Smith); Harvard University Police (Chief Francis Riley); MGH Police (Bonnie Michaelman, Director); MIT Police (Chief John DiFava); New England Conservatory of Music (Director Michael); Northeastern University Public Safety (Chief Michael Davis); Roxbury Community College (Chief Joshua Cojulun); Tufts University Police (Director Kevin Maguire); University of Massachusetts Boston Police (Chief Donald Baynard); and Wellesley College Police (Chief Lisa Babin).

2 Winter Street Suite# 302, Waltham, MA 02451

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