The North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, which had claimed it was not subject to public-records laws, has settled an ACLU lawsuit by agreeing to release its records.
NEMLEC declined to release records, including policies guiding the SWAT team’s use of deadly force, training materials, incident reports, deployment statistics and equipment contracts.
NEMLEC is a consortium of 58 municipal police and sheriff agencies, from Amesbury to Woburn, covering Middlesex and Essex counties. Member towns pay $4,600 annually in dues to NEMLEC, which provides specialized mutual-aid services. NEMLEC also receives government grants to buy special equipment.
The ACLU argued NEMLEC receives government grants, essentially using taxpayer dollars, to purchase high-tech equipment for units, such as the SWAT team, so it is subject to the public-records law.
A small step toward holding police accountable, thanks to the ACLU.