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The Mapping Project

Massachusetts State Police

A highly militarized organization, the Massachusetts State Police maintains several specialized departments with military equipment and training, including an Air Wing, a Special Tactics and Operations Team (STOP), a Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), a Marine Unit, a Mounted Unit, a Motorcycle Unit, a Gang Unit, an Anti-Terrorism Unit, and an Incident Management Assistance Team, among others. As of 2020, the Massachusetts State Police employed a total of 2,201 state troopers, who were organized into six troops and 38 barracks operating across the state.

The Massachusetts State Police licenses police working for "colleges, universities, other educational institutions and hospitals" as "special officers," providing these forces with full arrest powers under MA law (see Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 22C, Section 63). The MA State Police also serve as a conduit for the provision of military weapons to police forces across the state through the Massachusetts 1033 program.

The Massachusetts State Police have participated along with other police organizations across the state in "Urban Shield" exercises organized by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), exercises which aim to prepare regional police forces for urban warfare under cover of "counterterrorism" trainings. (For more information about Urban Shield, see entry on Boston Police.) The Massachusetts State Police are also known to have also sent representatives to 2011, 2014, and 2016 "counterterrorism seminars" in Israel, as part of all-expenses-paid delegations of US law enforcement to Israel sponsored by the New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The New England Chapter of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sponsors annual all-expenses-paid delegations to Israel for high-ranking New England police, ICE, FBI, and other security officials, where these officials meet with Israeli military, police, and intelligence agencies, with whom they train and exchange tactics including surveillance, racial profiling, crowd control, and the containment of protests.

Commonwealth Intelligence Fusion Center

The Massachusetts State Police manages the Commonwealth Intelligence Fusion Center, which serves as a node of information sharing between local, regional, and federal law enforcement agencies, organized under the purview of the US Department of Homeland Security. (See also separate entry on the Boston Regional Intelligence Center.) According to the overview on the Massachusetts Government website:

The Department of State Police’s Commonwealth Fusion Center (CFC) operates within the Criminal Information and Intelligence Section of the Massachusetts State Police, under the direction of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS). According to Executive Order 476, CFC is the principal state repository for threat-related information, including criminal activity, threats to public safety, and terrorist activity. Its components ... provide a variety of functions for federal, state, regional, and local public-safety agencies, as well as a variety of public- and private-sector entities, to facilitate the receipt, analysis, and sharing of this critical information ... In addition to producing intelligence products, in 2007 CFC purchased and implemented a software product (CopLink) that collects information from dissimilar law enforcement agency record management systems and organizes them into a single database.  ... CopLink combines the information gathered into a single, searchable database, enabling users to analyze large volumes of information to identify trends and provide support for criminal investigations and other law enforcement activities. According to CFC management, as of February 21, 2018, law enforcement personnel from 414 agencies across the state had access to the information in the CopLink database. An additional 26 agencies outside Massachusetts also had CopLink access. CFC management also stated that they frequently provide training and technical assistance on CopLink to law enforcement stakeholders. ... As of December 31, 2017, there were 37 employees assigned to CFC, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and has two locations: one in Maynard and one at the Department of State Police headquarters in Framingham.

In 2018, the Massachusetts State Police posted a screenshot on the social media platform Twitter from a computer in their Watch Center (part of the Fusion Center) which contained a map of incidents related to gas explosions in homes serviced by Columbia Gas in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. At the top of the screenshot were a series of tabs showing the State Police's monitoring of local political groups, including: Mass Action Against Police Brutality (MAAPB); the Coalition to Organize and Mobilize Boston Against Trump (COMBAT); Facebook 413; Facebook MA Activism; and Resistance Calendar. This one example of the MA State Police's surveillance of political groups is emblematic of a broader pattern of action by police forces across the state and US Department of Homeland Security, which, as noted above, are highly networked through fusion centers: A series of Freedom of Information Act requests submitted by the Center for Constitutional Rights in 2018 produced documents from the DHS and the FBI which showed extensive surveillance of Black activists protesting police violence (labeled as "black identity extremists"), as well as "racist, anti-muslim and conspiratorial 'news' items shared among agencies."

470 Worcester Rd, Framingham MA, 01702

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