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The Human Rights Committee (HRC) is doing something very similar to this, and we are providing the reports and data that we collect to the HRC.
The Lexington Police Department is subordinate to the Town Manager, who is also initiating a review of Town policies. Our Town Counsel, including Attorney Carmen Ortiz (former U.S. Attorney for the Boston District), is reviewing police policies for any unintended bias or discriminatory policies.
We are working with Carmen Ortiz at our Town Counsel’s office, she is formally the US Attorney for Massachusetts and is very well qualified.
We believe diversity goes far beyond racial demographics. To answer this specific question, according to the Census Reporter (CR) for 2018, our officer demographics compare to Lexington's demographics:
As of November 2020, we have five officer vacancies with a sixth in February 2021. We welcome diverse candidates to apply. One reason the Town left Civil Service was to diversify the Police Department's ranks. We have advertised widely and have seen more diverse candidates in the most recent recruitment.
The best strategies are intended to make all employees feel welcome and valued. Supervisors must speak to staff and understand what helps them want to perform better. Discriminatory practices must be eliminated and offensive conduct prohibited.
We strongly encourage supervisors, who are also responsible for performance evaluations, to take the time to understand their staff. The success of each officer reflects on the quality of supervision being provided. We seek to promote those individuals who demonstrate merit and leadership skills.
Our training on the fair and equitable treatment of the public applies to all members of the public. Officers also receive training on how to properly handle transgender and binary detainees. Unlike large agencies, Lexington does not typically have many arrests, and we are able to give each individual the time and care they need.
The new police station is designed to accommodate non-binary individuals but it was not represented well on the schematic design. The Architect has made revisions to the plans and these were presented to the Select Board recently.
Specifically, does town or State social services accompany the police?
Yes, we have a protocol.
The Police Department has assigned a full-time Detective to Family Services. He immediately follows up on domestic matters, runaways, suicides/attempts and at-risk persons (elder and mental health matters). He works closely with Lexington's Human Services Department and the Community Crisis Intervention Team. He may enlist the assistance of the School Resource Officer who communicates with School deans and counselors.
We also have the Advocates located in Waltham who can respond to emergency calls for emotional and mental health emergencies. We are a member of the Domestic Violence Service Network (DVSN) and the Central Middlesex Police Partnership (CMPP) who contracts with Eliot Community services for social workers.
Given the example of 'child' abuse, we would immediately notify the Department of Children and Families as a mandatory reporter. They will come to a scene if the circumstances require.
The Massachusetts courts are the strictest in the country, limiting police authority on motor vehicle stops and threshold inquiries. Our policies require a police officer to articulate reasonable grounds to make a lawful motor vehicle stop. An officer cannot stop a motorist on "a hunch".A traffic law violation is reasonable grounds for a stop. Otherwise, an officer must have reasonable suspicion that a crime has, is, or is about to be committed to engage in a threshold inquiry.
Our policies are written so as to align with the law and our traffic enforcement policies posted on our website.
Officers receive training in the police academy during their law programs, as well as during practical hands-on procedures. While on the job, further training comes during in-service training and through professional associations. Supervisors also routinely debrief after motor vehicle stops to discuss why they made the stop, and why they may have issued criminal or civil charges through a citation.
Our policy requires the intake of any formal complaint, including anonymous complaints, and then the preliminary information is forwarded to the Chief of Police. A command staff officer, depending on the nature of the complaint, is then assigned to investigate and report back to the Chief.
The Police Department falls under the Town Manager, and the Town Manager, Deputy Town Manager and, to some extent, the Select Board are informed of any significant issues that take place in Lexington and any significant complaints.
The Family Services Detective notifies the Domestic Violence Service Network which provides advocacy, counseling, and training to families/individuals with domestic issues. Officers are also trained to assess 'high risk' domestic service calls to provide immediate emergency services to a victim.
Domestic disputes are one of the more dangerous calls that police departments respond to. Police officers are specifically trained to deal with the potential violent situation brought on by the emotional aspects of domestic disputes, and we are often called upon to stabilize and de-escalate a situation before EMS personnel or a social worker approaches the scene.
The Police Department logs between 13,000 to 15,000 calls or services each year. In 2019, we had 135 domestic-related calls and 21 alcohol / drug related. In total, these calls are a very small percentage (1%) of "police calls" in Lexington.
The Commonwealth's public records law currently prohibits the Police Department from discussing calls with medical and mental health issues. The law also seeks to protect the privacy of victims of certain crimes such as domestic assaults and sexual assaults. We also cannot discuss personnel files.
Each week, the Chief gives an update to the Town Manager and Deputy Town Manager on all calls that have taken place in Lexington. They are also contacted immediately when there is a serious incident and are given updates on any investigation. We also work closely with the Human Resource Director on personnel matters.
These are three of many departments in Lexington. We work closely together providing a Community Crisis Intervention Team to review individuals or families that need assistance. Our Family Services Detective, Community Resource Detective and School Resource Officer also make routine notifications to other departments so the public is properly served.
We also work closely with the Library, Schools, Recreation, DPW, and Facilities Departments, who serve as additional sets of eyes in the community. They often become aware of a person or family displaying behavior that may require intervention. Our ability to communicate with public and private entities is an important service to the community.
Lexington Police Officers rarely use firearms in the course of their duties. This is why it is very important that we train extensively. As any risk manager will advise, if an employee has a "high risk" function that is infrequently used, training is imperative to ensure high levels of proficiency.
All of our policies are on our website. Use of lethal force is not a common practice. We place a high value on transparency, and we welcome the public’s input on our policies.
The first day officers exit the police academy, they are presented with Department policies. These are reviewed regularly, and when updates are issued, officers are notified electronically of the changes and are required to take quizzes. Department rules require that officers remain familiar with Department policies, and when policy violations occur, officers are held accountable. As an accredited police agency, we are re-accredited every three years by independent, external inspectors and we must document/demonstrate that our policies are being followed to retain our accreditation.
We assign a Lieutenant to every shift whose responsibility it is to listen to dispatched calls, monitor Department operations, read and inspect all reports and citations, and document employee performance. We also have a Patrol Sergeant assigned to each shift that provides supervision on the road.
We have marked and unmarked cruisers. We have one "undercover" vehicle. We use a "mixed fleet" approach with both sedans and SUVs. This gives us greater flexibility in poor weather and the SUVs carry more equipment. All unmarked vehicles are fully equipped with emergency lights (low profile) and sirens. Most unmarked vehicles are for administrative staff and serve as our backup to the marked fleet. For example, we had a mutual aid call to Woburn where an officer was shot, all of our marked vehicles went to Woburn to assist. Other officers were then able to use our unmarked fleet to patrol Lexington.
There are some competing interests when it comes to marked vs. unmarked vehicles. There is a growing expectation that police vehicles should be low profile so we do not "embarrass" or cause alarm at certain types of calls. This is completely opposite to the importance of being highly visible for traffic enforcement and as a deterrent to crime.
Lexington Police Officers qualify with handguns to a distance of 45 feet. Our officers deploy patrol rifles for instances where they encounter a person who is more than 45 feet away. As a suburban community, it is a very real challenge to approach an armed subject when there are no trees, stone walls or other protection to hide behind. With today's modern weapons, a bullet can be fired by a criminal will go straight through a police cruiser.
Our officers do not have body cameras, nor do we use cruiser cameras. One reason is the volume of information that would need to be maintained as a public record, and video takes up a lot of space on servers and maintaining this information is difficult in all but the largest departments.
Always assume you are on camera and being recorded. Many residents, businesses, motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians use today's modern technology to film and record everything around them.
Police officers are trained and reminded daily that anything they say or do will probably be caught on camera. The Courts here in the Commonwealth have ruled that police officers, while in the performance of their duties, do not have a right of privacy.
Chief Mark Corr has no objection to a body camera program, provided it is properly funded. This is a discussion we can continue to have as we begin working on the next budget cycle. There will need to be discussions with the labor unions, but the biggest hurdle will be the cost of equipment, the cost of storing video, and, the most challenging part, the cost of personnel to manage video and public information requests. In 2019, the Police Department had 459 public record requests; should any significant percentage of these requests require body camera video, we will need more full time assistance managing the requests for information.
By way of example, a person may ask for the body camera video for one-year of an officer's motor vehicle stops possibly alleging bias. Since an officer may make a motor vehicle stop without documenting it, we would need to review all patrol video for that officer to identify the motor vehicle stops. Each officer is scheduled for 243 work days (less days off; add overtime) which is equivalent to 1,946 scheduled hours. Someone would need to review the video and then redact video of license plates, images of people or other confidential information. This same reviewer would need to redact from the audio all confidential information. The redactions may not be similar given that audio may be permitted where video is not, or vice versa. A single request could take someone a month or more to honor.
The School Resource Officer (SRO) is an effective assignment particularly given the emphasis on "resource." Consistent with the 2018 juvenile justice reform legislation passed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Police Department maintains a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Lexington Public Schools and the Minuteman Technical Vocational High School governing how an SRO will be used in the school.
We have, since the inception of the SRO program, avoided enforcement and most school attendance issues within the schools. The Police Department will continue to work with the School Department and the community to identify the best model for police officers working on school campuses.
Lexington Police officers are not rewarded for the number of tickets they write. Lexington does not have a "quota" system. We have, since the tenure of Chief Furdon (1982 to 1992), deemphasized arrest in favor of court diversion programs and court summons. We regularly use the Communities for Restorative Justice (C4RJ) program. Officers are recognized when they use good judgement, de-escalated potentially dangerous situations and when acknowledged by the public for good police service.
As an accredited police department, we have adopted best practice policies including an entire policy 41 H - Bias-Free Policing (PDF).
It is the policy of the Lexington Police Department that: "Except in "suspect specific incidents," police officers shall not consider the race, gender, national or ethnic origin of members of the public in deciding to detain a person or stop a motor vehicle and in deciding upon the scope or substance of any law enforcement action."
Throughout our policy manual, we promote the fair and equitable treatment of all (also called procedural justice). These policies are all online, and we invite comments and suggestions.
Treating all people with respect and dignity is embedded in all of our strategies to avoid racial profiling. Unconscious bias training has been addressed by the Municipal Police Training Committee in different programs and in defensive tactics training. We also have a progressive policy of avoiding arrest situations, instead using alternatives such as summons, diversion, and restorative justice. All citations and reports are inspected daily by a shift commander, with an eye toward identifying any improper use of our authority.
We have hired high quality officers who use good professional judgment and decision making.
One of the challenges is for dispatchers and officers not to become an extension of a caller's prejudice. We receive calls to dispatch, some with the best intentions (some not), reporting "suspicious" persons or behavior based on their race or ethnicity. Dispatchers must ask probing questions and our officers work hard to validate the credibility of a complaint before intervening.
Our officers are expected to treat all members of the public with dignity and respect. Intimidation is unacceptable, and we do not allow it. We encourage the reporting of any behavior believed to be inappropriate, which can come directly to the Police Chief or directly to the Town Manager, who oversees the Police Department in a civilian capacity. When we receive a complaint, we assign a command staff officer to investigate immediately, and then take appropriate action based on the investigation's findings.
Information on filing police complaints is available on our website.
The Town held one community conversation on September 29, 2020 to hear the community's concerns, and will be holding more in the future to continue the dialogue. There also have been training programs for Town staff. Additionally, we have joined the Government Alliance on Race and Equity for further training, and we have contracted with All Aces Inc. to do work on a community-wide diversity and equity program over the next year.
Treating all people with dignity and respect is a responsibility shared by Town leadership, the Human Services Department, the Human Rights Committee, Schools and the Police Department.
We ask that any crime that involves hate speech or other hateful symbolism be reported to the Police Department. We assign someone from our Department as the designated Civil Rights Investigator for the Town. We will investigate and document the event(s).
If the matter does not rise to the level of a crime, the School Department will be included when their property or students are involved, the Human Services Department will be involved if the matter is broader than the school system, and the Human Rights Committee will be notified of all cases.
We then meet and discuss the proper response by the Town.
If the combined damage from the accident exceeds $1,000 you must file an accident report.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has recently discontinued the distribution of motor vehicle accident report forms to local police departments. Blank accident reporting forms will no longer be available at local police stations including the Lexington Police Station. These forms are available for download and printing in the Forms / Documents section of this site or from the registry of motor vehicles site.
You have five business days starting the next business day after the accident.
You need to have three copies of your accident report and send them to the following:
It is suggested you contact your insurance agent and they will in turn mail your accident reports to the appropriate agencies.
You should obtain:
Need additional information? Access the Registry of Motor Vehicles link to their home page.
Massachusetts law requires that all municipalities establish the full and fair cash value of all real estate as of January 1st of the prior year.
The Town then uses a software application from Vision Government Solutions, Inc., which includes a "Mass Appraisal" computer software model. This is used to calculate property values based on the market activity as well as certain property-specific attributes such as location, size, construction quality, style, and condition. Frequently Asked Questions about Vision and their software model
The courts have defined this phrase to mean "current market value"; the price arrived at by a willing buyer and a willing seller, each with a good knowledge of the market and each acting without undue pressure or compulsion. Thus, in determining value, assessors seek to approximate what property would sell for on the open market, within an acceptable range of error.
A revaluation uses mass appraisal methods and techniques, meaning we appraise many properties at once. Mass appraisal is typically done for property tax purposes and the effective valuation date for all mass appraisals in Massachusetts is January 1st of the revaluation year. A fee appraiser appraises only one property at a time. The appraisal is done for a specific reason, such as purchase, refinance, estate valuation, etc. The date of the appraisal is typically the day it is appraised.
Land values change at a different rate than improvement (structures) values. Since building costs and values have not changed at the same rate as land values, the bulk of any total change may be attributable to land. This makes good economic sense, as it is land that is in limited supply.
Annually, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) performs a statistical analysis of the Town's proposed assessments. Additionally, every five years the DOR conducts a comprehensive analysis of the Town's appraisal process and reviews property values in great detail to ensure that the assessments represent full and fair market values.
To effectively and equitably allocate your portion of all Town obligations, your property's assessed value is meant to reflect the market conditions for similar properties during the recent year analyzed (not the "current" market). Please be aware that your recent tax bill may have increased even if your property's market value decreased during the year analyzed.
Nevertheless, as a Lexington property owner, you have the right to "contest" your property valuation (assessment) by filing a written and signed application for the additional review of your own local tax assessment.
Abatement applications are available in the Assessors' Office at Lexington Town Hall during the month of January and online. Filing for abatement is an option only during the 30 days after the Town has mailed your Third (Fiscal) Quarter tax bill, which property owners normally receive in early January.
If you think your property's assessed value is "incorrect" you must specify your preferred valuation method or rationale and your differing opinion of value in a timely-filed abatement application. The Lexington Board of Assessors will have three months (approximately 90 days) to review your abatement application. Following its review, the Board of Assessors will send out written notification of its action within ten days.
Filing for local abatement does not alter your obligation to pay your tax bill. Each tax bill payment must be received timely by the Lexington Collector of Taxes in order to protect your further rights to appeal.
Your abatement review obligations: You must correctly and timely file your application. Thereafter, regardless of the rationale of your application, you must allow a Town employee full access to all areas of the interior and exterior of your property during weekday business hours during the week or weeks offered.
Assessors database is "frozen" prior to January tax bill mailing: The fiscal year (FY) 2020 valuation of all Lexington property was determined by the Assessors Office last fall; subsequently our overall valuation methodology and our assessed values were approved by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (MA DOR). Thereafter, the approved assessment database for FY 2020 was "frozen" by our software vendor and during January 2021, the data for each property was displayed on its website. The other public faces of our frozen FY 2020 database are 1) property record cards available at our front counter and the online database2) on our webpage and 3) in summary form as the 200 page GBC-bound "Street Listing" booklet, available online and at our front counter.
Coupled with "freezing" the FY 2020 database, we open the new FY 2021 database. In that new file, we increase or decrease individual property values as driven by newly input data (abatement reviews, permit inspections, etc.) throughout the year. The resulting assessed value during the active year - at any given time - is the confluence of contributing market factors concerning ownership, use and changing land and building factors. For 12 months, the new FY 2021 database is a "work-in-progress" file and is not a public record. Later in the calendar year, our work on this file is concluded; it is then reviewed and approved by the MA DOR after which time it becomes public record.
Your right to appeal the local Board action: If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your local abatement request, you may have the right to appeal for a courtroom hearing at the Massachusetts State Appellate Tax Board. This appeal must be prepared within three months of the Assessors action.
Interior inspections are an important part of the Town's assessment process. Just as a potential buyer of real estate inspects the interior of a home before making an offer, the Town tries to make a better determination of overall property value based upon accurate data using interior inspections. Examples of data reviewed include: dwelling type, condition, land area, living area, number of bathrooms, fireplaces and whether attics and basements are finished or unfinished.
It is the responsibility of the Assessors' Office to establish the taxable valuation of each individual piece of property in the Town. However, the Assessors do not create value. Buyers and sellers create the value via their transactions in the marketplace.
At Town Meeting each year, a budget is voted on by Town Meeting Members taking into account the limits of Proposition 2 1/2, and how much money will be needed to meet all appropriations and other expenses. The difference between the amount approved and the money received from other revenue sources (i.e., state aid, local receipts and available funds) must be raised by property taxation.
Valuation assessments are developed independently from the budget and are used only in the last step of the budgeting process to distribute the Tax Levy. Changing property values do not affect the overall Tax Levy, but it may result in the redistribution of the tax levy burden among all taxable properties in town.
Every year, the Select Board establishes the fiscal year residential and commercial/industrial/personal property tax rates. Those rates represent a tax per thousand dollars of assessed value which, when applied to each properties assessed valuation, yields that property's annual tax bill.
Proposition 2 1/2 pertains to the total amount of money raised by taxation, also known as the tax levy. Generally speaking, the tax levy may not increase greater than 2.5 percent over the prior year’s levy plus a factor referred to as new growth which captures the increase in valuation and the tax levy attributable to new construction. However, this limitation does not pertain to individual tax bills. Your bills may increase or decrease by any amount in any given year. Find out more about Proposition 2 1/2 (PDF).
There are multiple programs that offer tax relief to qualifying property owners including state and local tax relief. Find out Property Tax Relief Programs (PDF).
Five or less full time employees, including the business owner.
It would be at the time that the business applies for assistance.
LMI is low-and-moderate income persons. An individual is considered to be LMI based on their annualized family income. Overall, to be classified as LMI, an individual or family's household income must be less than or equal to 80% of the median income for the area where they reside.
Applicants must meet one of the following criteria below:
Visit the HUD calculation website. Most businesses within this grant will fall under the Boston-Cambridge-Quincy MA area.
If there are two owners, both must be eligible.
Must be in business as of 1/1/19 and have a physical establishment.
Up to $10,000.
Applicants will be required to submit documentation to support all provided information. The following list identifies the required documents that will be requested at the time in which applications are submitted:
If a business was in operation but closed because of COVID, it would make sense that the business should be eligible for this funding. "Currently in operation" means that the business has not permanently closed, gone out of business, or filed for bankruptcy.
The purchase of equipment, fixtures, furnishings, and property with CDBG funds is generally ineligible. Funding may be used for rent, mortgage assistance, utilities or payroll.
For example, landscapers, contractors, artists, daycares, consultants, etc. Legitimately licensed commercial businesses may be considered eligible for assistance.
Funds may be used for working capital to cover business costs, such as rent, staffing, and utilities. Microenterprise Assistance Program funds may not be used for major equipment purchases, purchase of real property, construction activities, business expansion, or lobbying.
Businesses should be in touch with their local government officials to get relevant updates about the program. Please stay tuned for the online application coming soon.
The project extends from the Massachusetts Avenue / Meriam Street / Clarke Street intersection to approximately the Police Station Driveway.
The Battle Green project is separate from the Center Streetscape Project.
Yes. The redesign is following the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee that were approved by the Select Board.
The project is scheduled to begin in mid-late May 2021.
The construction is expected to take 2 years to complete and will be performed in phases to minimize disruption as much as possible.
The town will be working directly with the contractor and the resident engineer (project inspector) throughout the project to get advance notice of expected work. There will be contact with the abutters through the website, emails and direct interaction. The communication plan is being developed and we will be reaching out this winter with more detail and how to stay informed throughout the project.
Emergency Communications Network of Ormond Beach, Florida provides the service to the Town of Lexington.
They have been in business since 1996; the company provides CodeRED® service to hundreds of municipal governments across the country. The Town of Lexington selected CodeRED® after researching and reviewing similar products and services.
To stop receiving some or all of the CodeRED messages, use our Opt-Out form. To change your email address or phone number, go the CodeRED webpage.
The instructions are fairly simple, but not everyone has had experience with computers. We encourage residents to help friends, family and neighbors get connected. Cary Memorial Library has computers with access to the internet and the Community Center can assist their patrons. Contact the Town Manager's Office at 781-698-4540 if you need assistance.
This option is available but is not necessary. If you use a password, this allows you to change or delete the information that you entered. Only two phone numbers can be attached to one password. If you have more than two phone numbers, you will need to provide a password for each set of two.
This may happen, but will have no effect on how you receive emergency messages. CodeRED is a phone number based system - if your phone number (text or email) is included in the system, you will be called.
The address is important because it allows emergency phone calls to target specific neighborhoods. For example, with a major storm, all phones regardless of their address will be called. However, if a water break requires one neighborhood to take water safety precautions, only those addresses affected can be called.
The CodeRED website is secure. All data entered into the database is used exclusively by the Town of Lexington. The information will not be shared. All data entered onto the website will be inspected once by a Lexington public safety official to ensure that the information is Lexington-based. As a general rule, any phone number attached to a non-Lexington address or an invalid Lexington address will not be accepted. When the information is approved, it is then sent to the database.
The security of this information is critical to the success of an emergency notification system. There is no feature within the system that allows a list of phone numbers to be printed. The use of all data in this system is controlled by federal regulations and by contract with the vendor.
You may opt out of receiving non-emergency public service messages. At this time, the website does not allow opting out of emergency messages.
FCC regulations prohibit sending non-emergency messages to unpublished and unlisted numbers. If you have an unpublished number and want non-emergency public service messages, please add your phone number to the database and opt-in for these notifications. An example of a non-emergency notification might include notice that trash pick-up is delayed by one day.
Individuals who do not want to receive any calls, for any reason, may contact the Police Department to sign a waiver and have their phone number removed from the call list.
Yes. You can add as many numbers as you want simply by visiting the CodeRED website and entering new information. Use your Lexington address when adding the telephone number for your business or workplace. Please provide a direct dial number as automated attendants may delay your receipt of a message. Parents who work out of Town may want to receive emergency messages, particularly as they may affect local schools.
All published numbers should already be included within the CodeRED database. Unpublished and unlisted numbers are added to the database through our interface with the Enhanced 911 system.
One of the best CodeRED features allows residents and/or businesses in Lexington to add numbers. Simply visit the CodeRED website. Don't worry about adding duplicate numbers; the database is "cleaned" so that phone numbers are only called once. If you use this feature, you can make sure that your numbers will be called.
There is no additional fee for residents. The Town of Lexington’s emergency management fund pays for this service.
We strongly encourage all residents to maintain in their home one hard-wired phone. In power outages and other major emergencies, cell phone systems have a higher likelihood of failure. Although many families feel the 'old phone' is an unnecessary expense, these phones often work when all else is lost.
CodeRED allows you to enter many phone numbers and email addresses to broaden the opportunities to be notified. Unfortunately, nothing is guaranteed and the severity of the emergency will impact any emergency notification system.
CodeRED is an additional measure of safety the Town of Lexington believes all Lexington residents and businesses deserve. If electric power were to be interrupted, you may not be able to rely on radio and television to keep you informed. Emergencies also develop quickly and the news media may not have the information to broadcast. CodeRED allows the Town of Lexington to contact you directly.
No. The Town of Lexington respects your privacy. CodeRED will be used for emergency situations and important community notifications only. Residents have the opportunity to opt out of community notifications (non-emergency events).
CodeRED is a service provided by the Town of Lexington by which residents and businesses are notified by telephone, text, or email regarding emergencies or important community notifications. The system is capable of sending messages to the entire community or to specific geographical areas that might be affected by an emergency or other important event.
Age, race, ethnicity and gender are the most common data that is recorded on arrest reports and on traffic citations. When a call involves a possible hate crime, we also document the demographic of the victim(s) and offender(s).
In 2019, Lexington wrote 3,503 citations, of which 6% to 7% were operators or motorists officers identified as Black. (In the Commonwealth, since the 2005 racial profiling data collection, officers are asked to put on a citation what they perceive as the operator's race).
The challenge is assessing who is the motoring public in Lexington. Approximately 70% of our citations are issued to non-Lexington residents. We are not aware of a reliable source for the demographic of our motoring/commuting public that would help to determine whether 6% to 7% is what would be anticipated based on the number of non-residents driving through Lexington.
The Captain of Operations is charged with watching for trends in citation data. Every citation is inspected by a shift commander. Inspecting by race, ethnicity, and gender is part of our processes.
The number of citations on a daily basis using 2019 data shows that we issued approximately 9.6 citations per day; 40% of those are warnings, and 5.8 citations per day representing fines and punitive action. This equals less than.5 citations per officer per day (our traffic enforcement is very modest). We do not tabulate on a daily basis. Such a small sampling is not, as statistically relevant as monthly and quarterly reports.
In September 2020, officers "discharged" a less lethal weapon (bean bag) to subdue a violent person. Prior to that, excluding animal events and training, we were confronted by an armed person in May 2009. The person was shot once, suffering minor injuries, and was transported to the hospital for medical treatment and evaluation.
Sustained means that reasonable grounds were found to support the allegation. Not sustained means there was insufficient information to support the allegation. Unfounded means there was little to no information to support the allegation.
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts recently ruled and will now permit a Defendant to use as a defense that they were stopped as a result of racial profiling and not for a legitimate police action. The Commonwealth must then prove that profiling was not the reason for the stop.
The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police and other respected organizations came out with training material within a week of that decision. This material was distributed to all officers and discussed with their patrol teams.
We prohibit profiling. This ruling reinforces a standard that we have already been using. We are prepared to present to the Court an officer's enforcement history, and a fully documented explanation as to why a particular stop was lawful.
State law requires smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to be located in all residential dwellings. To ensure compliance, all dwellings must be inspected by the Fire Department upon sale or transfer of the property.
Important information is contained in the brochure:
Home Fire Escape Drills: It Starts With Planning, It Works by Practicing
Useful tips that could save your life include planning 2 ways out of each room.
State law restricts open burning to the period from January 15 to April 30 each year. Conditions for burning are strictly controlled. Persons desiring permission to burn must call the Fire Department on the day they desire a permit.
Read more about open burning.
PRO EMS31 Smith PlaceCambridge, MA 02138
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If you apply for a driver's license and are between the ages of 16 1/2 and 18 you must have possessed a learner's permit for at least six months and will only be issued a "Junior Operator's License" (JOL), upon passing a road test, and only if: You have successfully completed a driver education and training program approved by the Registrar which includes 30 hours of classroom instruction, six [soon to be expanded to eight] hours of in-car behind-the-wheel training and six (soon to be reduced to four) hours in-car as an observer of another student driver; You have completed at least an additional 12 hours of supervised behind-the-wheel driving as shown by a certified statement provided by your parent or guardian; You have had a learner's permit for at least six months; and You have had a "clean driving record" for a minimum of six consecutive months immediately preceding the date you took your road test. The most significant effects of the law's requirements and restrictions are on the operation of a motor vehicle by a person in possession of a "Junior Operator's License." A basic purpose of the law is to provide you with a supervised opportunity to develop good driving skills, while being free of possible distractions caused by having friends your own age present while you are behind the wheel. Under the law, if you are a junior operator (between the ages of 16 1/2 and 18): You may not operate a motor vehicle, within the first six months after receiving a "Junior Operator's License" while any passenger under the age of 18 is in the vehicle (other than yourself or an immediate family member), unless you are accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old, has at least one year of driving experience, holds a valid driver's license from Massachusetts or another state and is occupying a seat beside you. A junior operator who violates the passenger restriction shall be subject to a license suspension of up to 90 days. The six month passenger restriction period will stop running when the suspension begins and the remainder of the restriction period will start running again when the suspension is completed. As the holder of a "Junior Operator's License" (or Learner's Permit), you may not operate a motor vehicle during the hours of midnight. (midnight) to 5 am unless accompanied by your parent or your legal guardian. You may not operate a motor vehicle requiring a commercial driver's license; Your "Junior Operator's License" will be suspended for a substantial period of time if you are under 18 years of age at the time certain driving offenses involving alcohol or drugs are committed. You will face a license suspension for a 2nd or subsequent offense for speeding or drag racing violations.
No. The law requires that you be at least 16 1/2 to obtain a "Junior Operator's License." You would have to obtain your Learner's Permit at age 16 and drive for six (6) months without any surchargeable incidents or motor vehicle offenses before you would be eligible to apply for a "Junior Operator's License" at age 16 1/2
No. The law does not provide an exemption from the passenger restriction for a JOL driver who is driving his friends to or from school. Similarly, there is no exemption from the passenger restriction to transport friends to or from a prom or other school-related activity
Once a person is stopped by a Police Officer, the officer normally checks the validity and status of the driver's license by contacting the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If, as the driver, you possess a Junior Operator's License and there are unrelated persons under the age of 18 in the vehicle, and no licensed driver 21 years of age or over supervising your driving from the front passenger seat, the Officer will make an additional query. The Officer will also ask the Registry (either through a computer link in the police car or through a computer terminal at the police station) if you are subject to the passenger restriction. The Registry data link will confirm that you are or are not subject to the restriction.
Question: I am under 18 years of age. I know my parent must be in the car when I operate it with my Learner's Permit between the hours of midnight. (midnight) and 5 am. Someone told me that the same will be true after I get my "Junior Operator's License." Is that right? What is the penalty if I get caught without my parent in the car?
If you are caught operating on a "Junior Operator's License" during those hours, without your parent present in the vehicle, you will be deemed to be operating a motor vehicle without being duly licensed. It is a criminal offense and you may be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $200
Complete Question: I am afraid that I may be cited for driving without my parent in the car between the hours of midnight. and 5 am, in violation of the restrictions of my "Junior Operator's License." I am 17 1/2 and I drive myself to work on weekend nights at "Burger World." On Friday nights I usually get out of work at 11:30 pm and I can drive home in twenty minutes. Sometimes ( but not too often) the boss keeps us later and I don't get out until midnight. (midnight). I do not want to lose my "Junior Operator's License" but I don't want to give up the job, either. Will I definitely be cited for violating the restriction if I am seen driving at 12:15 am?
Section three of the law says that between the hours of midnight. and 1 am and between 4 am and 5 am, the provisions of the law shall be enforced by law enforcement agencies only when a junior operator of a motor vehicle has been lawfully stopped for a violation of the motor vehicle laws or some other offense. This is called "secondary enforcement." However, it is still illegal for you to operate during those times without a parent present in the car.
Complete Question: I am a single parent and my 17 year old son is going to apply for his "Junior Operator's License." He can go to the driver education course at school and that is not a problem. However, I work all day and I will probably not have the time to supervise the additional 12 hours of required driving experience. Can my brother do it? Can my brother and my uncle each supervise some of the required driving? Can I hire the driving school to do it? Parent Need Not Personally Supervise Additional 12 Hours of Driving.
You may designate your brother or any other person to supervise your son's 12 hours of driving experience if your brother or the other person is a validly licensed driver over the age of 21 and has at least one (1) year of driving experience. Your brother and your uncle can split the driving supervision, since the law does not require that only one person provide the 12 hours of supervised driving. You may also contract with any driving school offering such services to supervise the additional 12 hours of driving experience. You must make sure that your son is receiving the required 12 hours of instruction. You will have to certify, under oath, on your son's Driver's License application, that he did receive the 12 hours of supervised driving.
It was effective from passage (June 15, 2021).
Any monopodial (running) tropical or semi-tropical bamboo grasses or bamboo species, and any other species of bamboo that is found to have encroached upon any property other than the property on which it was originally planted, including Town-owned property or a Town-owned right of way.
Bamboo within Phyllostachys (a genus of running bamboo species) are the most likely to encroach as described in the bylaw.
Please see our Quick Guide to the Identification of Phyllostachys (PDF).
No. Japanese bamboo (e.g. Japanese knotweed; Fallopia japonica) is not a true species of bamboo and is not covered under this bylaw.
Not at this time. In Massachusetts, plants must meet specific scientific criteria in order to be considered invasive.
The Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) is a voluntary collaborative representing organizations and professionals concerned with the conservation of the Massachusetts landscape. MIPAG was charged by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to provide recommendations to the Commonwealth regarding which plants are invasive and what steps should be taken to manage these species. Please see Species Reviewed for full list of species the group has evaluated.
The Town Manager has designated the Department of Public Works as the authority to enforce this bylaw.
Any Running Bamboo Owner that is in violation of this bylaw may be fined $100 per day for each day that the Running Bamboo remains unconfined on the Running Bamboo Owner's property, or is in violation of any other provisions of this chapter. Any such penalty or penalties may be enforced through non-criminal disposition as provided by G.L. c. 40, section 21D.
Section 131-2 Defines "Running Bamboo Owner" as any property owner, whether a person, firm, trust, corporation or other legal entity, at whose property Running Bamboo is located. Since bamboo was not intentionally planted onto your property, you would need to send a written notice (via certified mail) to your neighbor within a year of the encroachment as well as a copy of that letter to the Town Manager to not be considered a Running Bamboo Owner under the bylaw. If the Town Manager determines that you are not a Running Bamboo Owner your neighbor would be liable for the new spread.
Yes you could be liable, if you are considered a Running Bamboo Owner according to the bylaw and if the bamboo spreads onto your east neighbor’s property after June 15 2021.
The bylaw states that a person who allows running bamboo to grow beyond the boundaries of his or her property is liable for any damages caused by the bamboo after June 15 2021.
The bylaw requirement regarding some type of containment of running bamboo apply only to plantings or encroachment that occurred after June 15, 2021.
If the bamboo that you are concerned about was planted prior to June 15, 2021, no employment of a containment barrier is required. However, there could still be liability relating to spread across property lines after June 15, 2021.
Routes B, and C begin and end at Depot Square.
Route A1 begins at Depot Square and becomes Route A2 as it passes the MBTA stop in front of the Crafty Yankee (across the street from Depot Square) and ends in Depot Square.
Lexpress stops on demand anywhere along the route, except in Town Center. The locations and times listed in the schedule are there to help you determine when the bus will arrive in the general area. Riders can board anywhere along the route by standing on the side of the road the bus is traveling and waving to the driver. Make sure you are waiting in a safe and visible area, and be 5 minutes early to allow for variable traffic. Vehicles cannot stop on Middlesex Turnpike, but you can ask the driver to pull into the lot for a business that is on the route (Wegmans, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, etc).
In Lexington Town Center (between the Minuteman statue and Woburn Street), Lexpress can only stop at MBTA stops, on Grant st, and in Depot Square. Make sure to wave at the driver as they approach, so they know to stop for you!
Before you reach your stop, pull the stop cord on the wall near the window or tell the driver where you want to get off. If asking the driver to detour off-route (for example, pulling in to the Best Buy parking lot), please make the request when you board. Remain in your seat until the bus has come to a complete stop, and cross the street behind the bus.
Please check the alerts on our Ride Systems app, tracker.lexpress.us, or check our Twitter account @LexpressBus for the most up-to-date information and alerts. You can also call 781-861-1210 for information.
We strive to provide all scheduled service, but sometimes have to cancel service in extreme conditions.
Yes! Download the free Ride Systems app on your smartphone for the Lexpress bus service. You can also view the GPS tracker in a browser window.
Lexpress operates Monday - Friday from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Lexpress does not run on weekends or most Town Holidays. If a holiday falls on a weekend, holidays are observed on the closest weekday. Service is often shortened on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Check for service alerts on our bus tracker and follow us on Twitter for the most recent updates!
Riders have the option to pay cash on board or purchase discounted tickets and passes in advance. See our fares page for more details. Please note:
Yes! Every Lexpress bus is equipped with a bike rack in the front that can hold two bikes. Bikes are not allowed inside buses unless they can collapse to the size of a standard piece of luggage. Lexpress and MBTA buses have the same kind of racks, so you and your bike can adventure all over the Boston area! Check out this photo guide or short video for instructions on using this style of rack.
Lost items are typically kept on the bus until the following day. Call the office at 781-861-1210 to see if it's been found and returned to the Lexpress Office. All lost and found items turned in are kept at the Community Center located at 39 Marrett Road, Lexington. You can also check out #LeftOnLexpress to see if something turns up!
No, there is no Lexpress service on Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays.
No, but you have 3 other options:
Yes, Lexpress Route B leaves Depot Square at 30 minutes past the hour and arrives at the Mall 51 minutes past the hour. The Lexpress mall stop is located (currently) by Pepe's Pizza. As the Mall undergoes redevelopment, the stop may move to a new transit hub near Legal Seafoods on the other side of the Mall.
Yes! Please be courteous to your fellow passengers and fold your stroller or carriage and move it out of the aisle (if possible). Riders with wheelchairs or other mobility devices have priority access to the accessible seating area.
All Lexpress buses are ADA compliant and come equipped with wheelchair lifts. The maximum lift capacity is 1,000lbs. The lift's clear platform is 30" wide by 54" long. There is room for 2 wheelchairs per bus.
Service animals are allowed on Lexpress at all times.
During off-peak hours (8:30 am to 2:30 pm), small domestic animals carried in lap-sized containers are allowed at the discretion of Lexpress vehicle operators. Animals must be properly leashed or contained, and must not annoy riders. Riders with allergies must be considered. The carrier must be out of the way of exits, and cannot take up a seat.
You may drink a non-alcoholic beverage on Lexpress as long as it is in a sealed container. Eating is not permitted.
You may take photographic or video images of Lexpress, but are prohibited from interfering with the free flow of passengers, disrupting service in any manner, or interfering with any transportation activity while taking images. Have a great shot? We'd love to feature it! Email Lexpress. Any person wishing to take images for any type of commercial purpose or use, (e.g., movies, commercials, trade publications, etc.) must first obtain permission from the Town.
Yes, there is a mandatory three-day waiting period.
Yes, if you can obtain a court waiver after filing intentions. You should file your intentions first with any city or town clerk. After this, we suggest calling the Concord District Court, Clerk's Office at 978-369-0500.
Individual communities set the fee for a marriage license. The fee in Lexington is $40 which includes the issuance of one certified copy of the Certificate of Marriage once the marriage has occurred and the Certificate has been recorded with the Office of the Town Clerk.
A medical certificate is not required to be married in Massachusetts.
The member of the clergy or justice of the peace authorized to solemnize marriages in Massachusetts must complete and sign the original license and return it to the clerk of the city or town where the license was issued. A marriage is not deemed valid until the license has been returned and recorded with the Town Clerk where the intention was filed and that office has filed the marriage with the Massachusetts Department of Vital Records and Statistics.
We receive the 911 emergency calls, and officers/EMS are dispatched to the scene. With all officers trained in mental health first aid, and 50% of the officers and dispatchers trained in crisis intervention, our first goal is to stabilize a scene and de-escalate any violent behavior.
If immediate assistance is needed, we will utilize the Advocates who will contact and/or send someone to the scene to evaluate the person in need. We also regularly work with the Lexington Human Services Department to follow-up on other needs. Generally speaking, social workers and mental health responders do not enter a scene first.
Parade Ambassadors are community volunteers who carry a sponsor’s banner in front of a marching unit during the afternoon parade. As Parade Ambassador, you are part of one of the Town’s most important traditions.
A Sponsor is a local business that helps to pay the costs for units to participate in the parade. The banners are a way to recognize and thank them for their support.
Yes! Lexington High School students receive 4 hours of community service credit for participating. Certificates are handed out at checkout: either a general service or a National Honor Society certificate.
Yes. You must be 12 years of age to participate. If you are under age 12, your parent or guardian must provide written permission, check in with you, and pick you up at the end of the parade.
There is no strict dress code, but you should look neat and dress appropriately for the weather. You’ll receive a complimentary Parade Ambassador tee shirt and gloves. Definitely wear comfortable shoes.
Email Linda Dixon or call 617 680-4932.
Sometimes it can be difficult to filter out local issues from regional and national issues. The polarization of our nation seems to be forcing people to 'take sides', while respectful disagreement and thoughtful dialogue is getting lost. We believe that over a very long period of time, the LPD has generated credibility and trust within the community. The community continues to provide support for professional policing and appropriate levels of training to ensure we are able to continue to provide high quality services.
In September/October 2020, we recorded about 35 short videos about police services in Lexington that soon will be posted on our website. We hope the videos, as well as this FAQ, will help the community better understand how we approach policing in Lexington.
The mask regulations in the Commonwealth are limited. By law, a person need only say, "I have a health condition" and there is nothing more that officers can do. Or, a person can say "no, I won't do it." The Town can issue a citation, but we cannot ask someone to leave a public sidewalk; we cannot take them into custody; we cannot require them wear a mask.
We are most successful when we establish a rapport with everyone present at a scene. Whether we agree or disagree with the politics, courtesy and respect is an important tool for police officers.
Complete Question: What's happened to the job title "Peace Officer", as opposed to "Police Officer", or "Law Enforcement Officer"? Should Lexington residents and Town officials reframe the role of those who work for the Police Department as "Peace Officers", and intentionally train people for their role accordingly?
Law enforcement is a small part of our actual duties, so we don't typically refer to ourselves as "law enforcement officers"; this is used more often by the Federal Government. The statutes in Massachusetts typically refer to police and "police officers."
We are local. Our only jurisdiction is Lexington. We belong to a community that cares about public service and is willing to support Town services by funding our annual budgets and replacing our infrastructure. The community also sets high expectations for our schools, DPW, library, police and others. We have intelligent, educated and compassionate officers who are committed to their professional responsibilities and care about the people they are sworn to protect.
Given our passion for our profession, it is difficult to hear about negative experiences. The stories may originate in Lexington, in other communities and, in some instances, other countries. To the best of our ability, we need to listen and learn. As new officers join the Department, we need to thoroughly train them to do their job correctly, meeting the expectations of the community. To do our job well, we must work with and for the community.
We are learning to use our social media more effectively to share positive stories. Some of our more important success stories, however, involve mental health and medical issues and the law prohibits disclosing this information publicly.
The Massachusetts State Police Union has almost zero impact on policing in the Town of Lexington. We generally defer to the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) crash events on Route 2 and Route 95. The District Attorney also has jurisdiction over all deaths in Lexington and uses the MSP to investigate these crimes in cooperation with us. Otherwise, policing in Lexington is controlled locally.
As with all Committees, the Select Board reviews the activities of all Boards and Committees they appoint to ensure they are meeting the their, and the community's, expectations.
Informally, yes. Pastor Brent (pre-COVID-19) would often be here visiting with the Department. Our relationship with the Lexington Interfaith Community Association (LICA) is also important because we may need to call upon other faith leaders in some difficult situations.
The Police Department has had tremendous success with our free Police Youth Academy, the Law Enforcement Club at Lexington High School, and our Explorer Program. The past two years, with the Superintendent’s approval, officers stop by two elementary/middle schools per day for approximately 15-20 minutes. Officers walk the campus, interact with kids during recess and gym, or otherwise make themselves available to any school initiative. When kids approach and speak with officers in these informal settings important bonds can form.
Enforcement by health officials and the police is still a challenge. A person need only declare that they have a medical condition and we have no further recourse. There is no requirement that the person prove their health status. Secondly, there is no authority to compel a person to identify themselves. The updated regulations did not change this situation.
The regulations that require wearing face masks outdoors is an attempt to achieve voluntary compliance with the regulations by as many people as possible.
We have a competitive promotion system that requires officers to read policies and procedures, Massachusetts laws, and management materials. Sergeants and Lieutenants take a 100-question multiple-choice test, followed by a one-day assessment center. The assessment center tests their working knowledge with exercises such as short-answer quizzes, role-playing and scenario-based problem-solving.
The Captains and Chief are tested with an assessment center only. All candidates must then speak before interview panels organized by the Town. Each candidate's performance evaluations are critical to assessing their readiness for a merit-based promotion.
Detectives are appointed by the Chief of Police.
Officers must pass an entrance exam. The most recent of which was given in August 2020. From there, they must pass the physical abilities testing completed. Candidates who move on to the next round are interviewed, and then must have a background investigation.
All officers are given an opportunity to participate in Department programs, so as to demonstrate their skills, knowledge and abilities to their supervisors and peers. Each year, all officers are given a performance evaluation and coached on how to improve. We outline performance expectations for all officers and set the criteria for supervisors to rate on "exceeds expectations", "meets expectations" and "below expectations". We wish to have an environment where all officers are valued for their contributions.
All candidates undergo an extensive background investigation that includes their entire life experience, prior employment, family history, credit history, criminal and motor vehicle history, prior military experience and disciplinary history. We interview neighbors and prior employers. Candidates then must pass a medical examination with drug testing. All of this material is then used during a psychological examination.
We currently use a private vendor called Police Exam Solutions who has a diverse network of organizations with whom they advertise. Our Human Resource Director also distributes our notices to community groups, colleges and universities and other connections.
We have also been giving free summer youth academies to spark the interest of police services with local youth. This program is supplemented with our Explorer Program where local kids may want to explore police services in greater depth. The Explorers are similar to a Scouting program. Lastly, we have 6 paid Cadets with one or two positions specifically reserved to hire a youth with fluency in language skills.
The Civil Service lists for promotion to Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant have all expired. The 2019 Annual Town Meeting voted to leave the Commonwealth's Civil Service system and this was certified in the summer of 2019. Our last Civil Service list (Sergeant) expired in July 2020. View the list of all valid promotional lists for all communities in the Civil Service.
A new assessment center for Lieutenant was given on November 17 and 18, 2020. We anticipate a new assessment center for Sergeant in May 2021, and for Captain/Chief in November 2021.
Stress in policing is intense, and all managers must be attentive to the effects of stress. We have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with services available to all employees, and the police profession has a network of stress councilors. We frequently debrief with our officers about current events and troubling calls. We also limit the number of hours officers can work.
Over the past 10+ years, we have struggled to reach full staffing. A few years ago, we were down almost 40% of our patrol force. We currently have 5 vacancies, with another expected in February 2021. Hiring through the Civil Service system was an obstacle, but as of 2019, we are now a non-Civil Service community. We just gave an entry level test in August 2020, and we expect to fill all six positions with quality candidates.
The Municipal Police Training Committee (MPTC) governs the content of the police academy and in-service training. The MPTC routinely accepts guidance from professional agencies and specialized groups who offer topics for training.
The annual in-service 40-hour training has a day on legal updates, a day on topical issues (i.e. racial profiling, mental health first aid, proper use of social media), a day on defensive tactics (including recommended de-escalation tactics and strategies), and a day for CPR/first responder recertification.
The Police Administrative Captain then supplements this training with firearm/use of force and de-escalation training and identifies other programming that may be specific to Lexington's needs. For example, we are seeking to train all officers in crisis intervention, restorative justice, and the services offered by the domestic violence advocates.
As funding permits, the Administrative Captain is responsible for identifying training opportunities that supplement the training provided by the MPTC. Anyone can submit suggestions and if appropriate, we may incorporate the training into our programming. Short training programs (approximately 15-minutes) can be presented at roll-call.
We provide training and other experiences to give officers a sound understanding of community priorities. We train all officers in mental health, first aid and 50% of our officers and dispatchers are trained in crisis intervention. We have hosted and participated in discussions with Lexington community groups and have participated in many of the cultural celebrations.
De-escalation and avoiding bias in policing starts with hiring individuals with good character and common sense. Most have college degrees and/or prior work experience that allows us to judge their ability to make good decisions. Our background investigations are extensive, and candidates with any behavioral issues are not hired. De-escalation training is embedded in all training consistent with our professional responsibility to be ethical and responsible officers for the community.
While we do not have this type of analysis data, it's only because it's not specifically measurable. However, given the very low number of complaints and nearly non-existent legal actions involving the LPD, this demonstrates the effectiveness of the training and the quality of officers.
A very short while ago, LPD officers were confronted with a violent armed person, with a history of violent conduct, who was trying to attack others with a knife. When officers arrived, he made it clear to the police, "you will have to kill me." Officers used time, space and obstacles to attempt to de-escalate the event. When that did not work, they used less lethal options even after the man grabbed an officer's weapon. He was successfully restrained and transported immediately to the hospital for evaluation.
We have other success stories that generally do not get reported on. These stories demonstrate the sound judgement of our officers The private emails, kind letters from families and the occasional box of cookies helps remind us of our important role
The Lexington Police Department was the 17th police agency in the Commonwealth to be accredited by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission in 2016. There are over 400 police agencies (including colleges and universities) in the Commonwealth, and less than 25% have adopted the best practices in policing as required in the police accreditation program.
These standards require us to review our services and methods annually. The accreditation program requires re-accreditation every three years, and we are required to prove to independent, external inspectors that we do actually adhere to the policies and procedures that we have adopted and our officers follow.
Police departments who are committed to their community welcome public scrutiny and input. All Lexington Police policies are online for public viewing and comment. We are committed to looking at any complaint, including anonymous complaints. The Town Manager is routinely briefed on police operations. We believe most individuals who have worked with our department during Town Meeting, or in other public forums, will say police officials are open, honest, and frank with their information. We believe we can only be successful if we are open to productive criticism and are willing to consider changes.
The Lexington Police Chief is appointed under M.G.L. Chapter 41, section 97A colloquially referred to as the "weak chief" statute. In essence, the Chief of Police does not have the authority to hire, fire, promote or discipline (over 5-days suspension). This authority rests by law with the Town Manager (Select Board-Town Manager Act adopted by Lexington in 1967). The Town Manager is also responsible for approving police policies.
The Town Manager is in turn responsible to the Select Board. This provides civilian review of police activities that can be enhanced as needed at the discretion of the Town Manager and/or Select Board.
The Town Manager is the disciplinary authority for the Lexington Police Department, with protocols established in consultation with the labor unions. The Chief of Police, or a designee, works closely with the Human Resources Director and/or the Town Manager when a disciplinary action will be taken.
The Chief of Police is primarily responsible for the internal affairs. These policies are available for review on the Police Department's website (52 A - Internal Affairs Maintaining Professional Standards (PDF) and 52 B - Internal Affairs Investigation and Forms (PDF); internal affairs and forms). All complaints, including anonymous complaints, are investigated.
Police officers on details is a Massachusetts' standard. A respected Labor Counsel once said that, "we don't pay police officers enough, and then expect them to be able to make "ends meet" by working too much overtime and road details."
A Police Officer with a bachelor's degree, working nights, can expect to make approximately $90,000 per year (without Over Time or detail work) which is not enough to own a home in or near Lexington. Many officers work extra hours, often at unusual times, on holidays and weekends, to live comfortably in the Boston area. Since flag holders have been allowed in Massachusetts, very few if any communities have used them.
We require police officers on details to carry their duty equipment as additional officers available in case of an emergency. In the event of an emergency, these officers are immediately activated off their detail work to assist with an emergency call.
We have employees represented by six unions. The Lexington Police Association (patrol officers and detectives), the IBPO 501 Superior Officers Association (Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants), the AFSCME 1703 Dispatchers, SEIO 888 (Crossing Guards), the Lexington Municipal Employees Association and the Lexington Municipal Managers Association.
The mutual labor agreements have a significant impact on how the we manage the working conditions and/or benefits of its employees. It is important that we have good working relationships and timely communication and we work with our labor unions to improve the department.
The Town of Lexington and the Police Department specifically prohibits police officers from associating with organizations that have a documented history of hate speech and involvement with hate crimes. If someone believes that an officer is so associated, this should be reported to the Police Chief or the Town Manager.
Qualified Immunity is a standard set by the Supreme Court of the United States. I anticipate that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court or the Massachusetts Legislature will debate the issue at length.
Locally, we try to hire good people, train them properly, provide quality supervision, investigate violations of policy and procedures, and take the appropriate disciplinary action when called upon to do so. With this strategy, we are in the best position to avoid litigation.
We monitor and restrict the number of work hours employees have. The Captain of Administration will intervene if a problem develops.
Lexington had a Police Policy Manual Committee appointed by the Select Board (1976-2018). This Committee helped review all police policies. Given the Town Manager Act, former Town Manager Carl Valente felt that this Select Board Committee should be replaced with a Town Manager working group. It is our goal to establish this working group in the near future.
This is an important of this question and any brief answer will be inadequate. There will need to be more discussion in other forums. In the past 10-years, Lexington has made significant steps toward change at the Police Department:
The Department of Public Facilities was created in 2007 upon agreement between the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee and subsequently approved by Tow Meeting. The department was established to more efficiently manage operations of both school and municipal buildings. With oversight for approximately 1.25 million square feet of space, the DPF is responsible for custodial services, building maintenance and repairs, support of capital projects, and day-to-day project management for new construction and major renovations. Public Facilities oversees all school and municipal buildings including the senior center, library, fire department, police station and town hall.
A space study was performed in 2010 by Donham & Sweeney Architects who recommended a new Police Station should be appropriately sized at 28,306 square feet. The current design is 30,000, which includes the additional 4,000 square feet added at the completion of the Community Conversations on Policing. The Police Department has been operating with a woefully inadequately sized building for the past 30+ years. Lastly, the building has been built with flexibility for future use given the likely nature of change within the industry.
The global pandemic has caused significant disruptions in supply chains, and exacerbated a shortage of skilled trade workers. The result of these forces has created significant cost escalation in the construction market. In some cases, up to 20% cost increases in a single year. Two years will have passed since this project was paused so that the community could engage in an important conversation on policing, and the time of the anticipated bidding of this project over the summer of 2022. That is two years of construction cost escalation through an unprecedented period of market change.
Full Question: Can you please detail the cost increase to taxpayers with median home value as well as $500K, $2M and $3M increments? Could you also please provide the revised timeline of estimated tax increases that include the Police Station, Community Preservation Act, and Lexington High School estimates (and other potential or known Capital debt items)?
Please see the Town Manager’s Memo (PDF) to the Select Board that addresses these questions.
The materials proposed are used to keep this building complementary to the Town Office Building and Cary Memorial Building. The intent was not to match them exactly, or to try to make it feel old, but rather to make it fit with the aesthetic of the other two buildings. Given that it is a public safety building, we are using state-of-the-art materials to ensure structural resilience above that of other buildings. These materials comply with the Town's Integrated Building and Construction Policy.
The building has been reviewed by the Historic Districts Commission, Select Board, Permanent Buildings Committee, Sustainable Lexington Committee and Design Advisory Committee. We are continually looking for ways to meet the project's needs as the lowest possible cost.
We have added a large and inviting lobby space to make the public feel safe and welcome to visit the building at any time. This lobby includes multiple seating areas, a private conference-style room for the community to come in to get advice, or report a crime in a more private setting, and a large front desk greeting area for walk-in visitors.
The lobby also has a large community/training room attached that can be used for community meetings, events, or department-sponsored training. A wing of office space has also been added for embedded social service programs to be added to the department. These spaces give the Department flexibility moving forward, as the Town's leadership continues working with residents to determine which services meet our community's needs.
The de-escalation training room will provide officers an opportunity to practice multiple levels of de-escalation techniques through a simulator that produces real-life scenarios officers may face. The simulator software takes into account the officer's verbal and physical reactions to either escalate or de-escalate a real life situation that has the potential to be volatile. Real-time correction and training can take place with each individual officer.
The height of the existing building is 33 feet from ridge to a point at grade at the base of the entry stair/ramp. The elevation of the ridge of the new building matches the height of the existing building.
There are a total of 2 floors, the first (lower) floor includes the main entrance, community/training room, restrooms, prisoner processing, dispatch, and the vehicle garage with maintenance bays. The second floor includes the detective bureau, administration, social services, locker rooms, the gym and mechanical/electrical/IT spaces.
Having the ability to store our patrol vehicles inside provides multiple benefits. It protects the Department's vehicle assets from the elements, contributing to longer life spans allowing us to keep them in the fleet longer. Inside storage allows officers to prepare the cruiser for the shift and get onto the street faster. There would be no need to clear snow from a vehicle that may not have been used on the prior shift. Secure inside storage also allows us the time-saving luxury of leaving some equipment in the cruiser when not in use, specifically AEDs (defibrillators), which are susceptible to damage in extreme heat or cold.
The space can accommodate nine vehicles.
Yes. The facility is being designed for future electric vehicle charging, including six "level 2" regular speed chargers, and three "level 3" fast chargers.
It does not. The Department currently utilizes our Hartwell Avenue training facility to complete required qualifications and other use of force and de-escalation training. This training is limited to seasonal use.
Yes, this building will fully comply with the Town's Integrated Building Design and Construction Policy. This building is an all-electric design and will strive for LEED silver standards or better. In addition to these stringent standards, the building will be specified with consideration of the Red List in four critical areas: concrete, thermal moisture protection, finishes and furnishings.
Red List building materials contain chemicals that have been designated as harmful to living creatures, including humans, or the environment.
This building will be built solar-ready. This means the infrastructure to add solar and battery backup systems can easily be added to the building when a project is approved. The facility design will include underground conduit, duct banks, hand holes, a separate room for all the electrical equipment, two switch gears, two transformers, and concrete pads for the equipment to be placed.
The plan is to start the construction of the new Police Station and work on the solar design with all of the relevant committees, including Historic Districts Commission, the Permanent Buildings Committee, Sustainable Lexington Committee and the Select Board. When the design is complete and all committees are in agreement, a separate Town Meeting article will be brought forward to town meeting (anticipating for fall of 2022) for approval.
There are two restrooms directly inside the entrance of the station for public use. There are two more restrooms in the lobby next to the community/training room for attendees of events held in the room.
All bathrooms in the proposed Police Station will be all-gender, except for the bathrooms that are located inside of the locker rooms. These bathrooms will match the gender of each of the 3 locker room (male, female, all-gender).
The proposed building is designed to accommodate the needs of our current 72 employees with enough room to accommodate any anticipated growth in the future.
The Hosmer House unfortunately will be too close to the proposed Police Station and will need to be relocated. The project team and the Select Board are working with the Town Manager to find an acceptable location for the house. There are a few possibilities; however, a final plan is not yet certain. To be clear and transparent, the house will not be demolished.
It is a communication antenna (tower). The tower is not part of the proposed Police Station project's budget or construction costs. The Historic Districts Commission is working with the project team to determine the right location and appropriateness of the tower.
The tower is an entirely separate project and has been in discussion since 2017. At that time the former Fire Chief (Wilson) and the former Director of Public Facilities (Goddard) brought the fire department's ladder truck behind the police station and extended the ladder as far as it could go with a balloon tied to the end to represent the proposed height of a 120 foot tower. This was a public event with many in attendance. The proposed antenna will be 5 feet in diameter and 120 feet tall and is proposed to be located in the parking area behind the Police Station, the final location is still to be determined.
The tower would serve two purposes; one is for cell phone communications, and the second is the emergency communication supporting both Fire and Police, plus the Innovation and Technology Department. The tower is strategically placed in this location because of its ability to cover specific areas of town that are currently not covered by signal strength, plus it can point towards the water tower on Jean Road, the antenna at route 2 and 95, and the Avalon complex in Arlington.
The tower is only effective when it has direct line of sight, thus the required height of 120 feet. The tower could not be located at the Hartwell Avenue Composting Facility or the Public Services Building on Bedford Street because it would not be able to communicate with the other three towers, and would not cover the areas of town that do not see full signal coverage.
Full Question: While the requirements of the new station follow best practices for police station requirements, it has been asked about other new stations in the Massachusetts area. Their costs? Their size (Square feet). Belmont's new station? Action? Others?
We do not specifically know all the details about each project that could have an impact on overall size and cost.
Requests to rent space at public school facilities are coordinated in the Department of Public Facilities (DPF) and requests to rent space in town are coordinated by the Town Manager's Office. Please contact Laurie Lucibello in the DPF at 781-274-8904 for rentals at a School Building, the Public Service Building or Battin Hall at the Cary Memorial Building. For all other rooms at the Cary Memorial Building or a Town Building Rental, please contact Cathy Severance at 781-698-4544 in the Town Manager's Office.
Lights are left on at night in school buildings for several reasons including school activities, custodial cleaning, rental programs, and security. If you have any questions or suggestions about energy use or consumption, please contact Shawn Newell, Assistant Director of Public Facilities at 781-274-8960 or send email.
Absolutely. Especially now that Lexington has been selected for the Solarize Massachusetts program that provides fantastic group purchase prices for solar energy systems.
A typical 5,000 watt system installed in Lexington will save $25,000 in electricity costs over 20 years. That same system will cost about $10,000 at Solarize group purchase prices after Massachusetts and federal incentives. The solar array will also generate about $9,000 in SREC income over the first 10 years resulting in a total cost of only $1,000!
That works out to a fixed cost of about 5 cents per kWh for an upfront purchase. Zero down financing agreements are also available for about 10 to 12 cents per kWh with no capital investment or maintenance costs.
Yes and Yes.
The Boston area is a great location for solar installations.
A solar energy system installed in the Boston area will generate almost as much electricity as the same system would generate if it was installed in Sacramento - just 11% less.
A Boston area installation will generate only 19% less than if the same system was installed in Reno, Nevada. Interestingly, that same Boston area installation will generate almost double the energy compared to the same installation in Germany.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) report "U.S. Renewable Energy Technical Potentials: A GIS-Based Analysis" shows just how amazing the solar and renewable energy potential in Massachusetts truly is.
NREL has determined that utility-scale and rooftop solar power installations in Massachusetts have the technical potential to deliver 111,398 Gigawatt hours(GWh) of electricity each year. To put that into perspective, Massachusetts consumed 57,123 GWh of electricity last year. That means solar power from Massachusetts has the potential to deliver almost double the electricity we are using today!
One of the wonderful things about solar power is how well it works with the utility grid. When your solar energy system produces more power than your home currently needs, you can pump that power out to the grid and your utility will give you a credit for the value of that electricity. When your home demands more energy than the solar energy system is generating, you can draw power from the grid to make up the difference.
Unfortunately when the utility power is out, your solar energy system still needs another energy source to act as a backup - a place to send electricity when the system is producing more power than you need and a place to pull extra power from when a cloud passes overhead. Your utility doesn't want you to do that during a power outage because it endangers line workers trying to restore power. So solar installations are required to disconnect from the grid during a power outage.
One common backup strategy is to add batteries to your solar installation. Unfortunately the price of batteries hasn't fallen as fast as the price of solar panels. That means a battery backup system can easily add 30 - 40% to your overall cost of installation.
Another idea is to combine solar with a backup generator. This makes a lot of sense for buildings - like our schools and municipal buildings - that already have a backup generator installed. Properly designed backup generators disconnect from the grid during a power outage - operating like an island - and supplying all their own power. A well-designed solar energy system can easily integrate with your backup generator, letting the solar panels carry the load when the sun is strong and the backup generator picking up the slack during evening hours. The NY Times has an excellent article about a school that survived Hurricane Sandy by doing just that.
Installing solar panels on the Town's municipal and school buildings is an excellent way for the Town to save money and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Many of our neighboring communities have already entered into agreements with solar developers who take complete responsibility for designing, installing, operating and maintaining the solar energy systems - as well as providing all the capital necessary to complete the project.
In return, the Town agrees to purchase all the electricity produced at a price substantially lower than NSTAR's current electricity rates. This lower price is possible because the solar developer is able to take advantage of the federal tax credits and pass those savings along to us.
The Lexington Public Health Division sponsors several influenza immunization clinics throughout the Fall each year. Our target population are those between 3 years to 19 years of age and those that are 60 years of age and older and persons with special medical conditions (e.g., diabetes), healthcare workers, homebound individuals and those caring for a loved one at home. Vaccine may be available to other age groups depending on availability. Although health insurance is not required to be vaccinated, we ask that individuals bring their health insurance cards, so the town can be reimbursed for the cost of purchasing vaccine and related supplies. There is no direct cost to the individual from either the town or their insurance provider. This helps sustain the Town of Lexington Flu Vaccination Program.
All food permits and food permit renewals can be filled out on our ViewPoint Cloud system.
The Town of Lexington belongs to the East Middlesex Control Project, a program comprising mosquito surveillance, larval mosquito control, and public education. In Lexington, larvicide applications to small wetlands occur in spring and summer, helicopter spraying to larger wetlands occur in April, mosquito trapping and surveillance occurs in June and treatments to catch basins are applied in mid-summer. There are many areas that are treated. If you want to know if the area you live in is treated, please call 781-899-5730 to speak with a representative of the program.
The Lexington Board of Health and Public Health Division, in collaboration with the Lexington Department of Public Works, offers several medical waste disposal events every year.
The use of utensils by food handlers is preferred during the various stages of food preparation. If used, disposable gloves must meet the same sanitary standards for hands as outlined in the State Sanitary Code 105 CMR 590.009 and .011, which covers employee cleanliness and employee hygiene. Disposable gloves must not be used as a substitute for frequent hand washing. Staphylococcus aurous can accumulate as hands perspire, can multiply on hands that are encased in gloves. If the gloves are ripped or puncture, foods may be contaminated with an even greater number of bacteria than is normally present on hands. Food handlers should avoid the false sense of security that often is associated with the use of disposable gloves.
It has been speculated that both paper currency and metal coins might act as fomites - inanimate objects that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission. If this is so, then people who contact food would be required to wash their hands between handling money and touching food or food contact surfaces. In 1971, FDA asked the Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) if paper currency could transmit disease organisms. BEP's reply stated that …specifications for currency paper require that it contain fungicidal agents…hav[ing] germicidal[al] characteristics …[which] retain their effectiveness throughout the life of the currency in circulation. Additionally, The inks used… on currency also contain ingredients which inhibit the growth of bacteria. A 1973 survey of 217 bills of various denominations found low number of organisms (1.46-167.26 per square centimeter), thus supporting BEP's position. The same survey tested 161 metal coins again finding low levels of organisms (19.50-413.29 per square centimeters). This information indicates that money does not support the growth or transfer of bacteria, i.e., it is not a "fomite".
…specifications for currency paper require that it contain fungicidal agents…hav[ing] germicidal[al] characteristics …[which] retain their effectiveness throughout the life of the currency in circulation
he inks used… on currency also contain ingredients which inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Yes, you will need to apply for a license for a special event. There is a small charge for non-profit and religious organizations. To apply, you will need to fill out temporary food permit on the ViewPoint Cloud system. You will be asked to review some basic information on food safety and to confirm that you will comply with all food safety practices required by the Board of Health.
Any event at which the general public is served food will require a separate permit from the Health Division. A variety of factors affect food safety, ranging from the condition of the facility to food handling methods. The permit for individual places of worship approves the facility itself for specific, limited uses. Health Division must be notified of individuals events run by different groups so that food borne illness outbreaks can be investigated, and so the hosts of the event can be given the necessary information on food safety to prevent such an outbreak in the first place.
Yes, children, the elderly, and people with immune system problems are more susceptible to food borne illness. For this reason, Lexington maintains a strong food safety program to protect both its residents and visitors to the Town's historic sites.
Pool water must be tested routinely for pH (acidity and alkalinity), and chlorine content. Pools must maintain a record of results for 30 days. Additional tests for water hardness must also be performed. The Board of Health may request other evaluations at its discretion.
Semi Public Swimming Pools are required to be inspected by the Health Division at least once a year. Special purpose pools (i.e. Jacuzzis) and seasonal outdoor pools may be inspected more often due to the inherent difficulties in keeping these systems in balance.
At this time there is no regulation preventing children who wear leak-proof swim garments or diapers from swimming in pools or at beaches. However, this issue is a matter of concern since outbreaks of cryptosporidium and E coli 7:157 have been traced to pools and water parks where children in diapers have been swimming.
Yes. Lifeguards must be certified for lifesaving by the Red Cross and must have specific training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in addition to other requirements. All pools must also maintain someone on staff at all times who is a Certified Pool Operator (CPO)- someone trained and experienced in operating a safe pool facility.
Yes. Your child's camp should have a permit given by the local Board of Health, which carries out annual inspections at each camp to ensure compliance with the state code put forth by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
All camps are required to have at least one staff member available at all times to act as a medical supervisor. This person must be trained in first aid and CPR, and may be allowed with parental permission to give the child prescription drugs as necessary. Each camp is also required to have a "medical consultant", either a doctor or nurse practitioner, who can provide guidance on specific medical issues when necessary. (The consultant is not necessarily a staff member, but a medical professional that has agreed to provide the camp with medical information and guidance as necessary).
Lifeguards at all pools are required to be certified in lifesaving, first aid and CPR.
State law requires that all camps have written policies as to how ailments and injuries may be handled. The medical consultant who works with the camp must approve the policy. Also, a Health Supervisor - someone who is specially trained in first aid - must be present at the camp at all times. Each camp must also maintain a log of injuries that occur at the camp.
Camps are required to keep all medications in a locked box or drawer. The camp's Health Supervisor must give all medications.
Camps should have a program that suits the age group and capabilities of the children it serves. Make sure to find out the full curriculum of the camp.
Camps are required to keep on a file a record of the required immunizations that the child must have received to enter the camp, including vaccinations for polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella. Written documentation of such immunizations are required for both children and all staff members. In addition, you should supply all information pertaining to the child's health that may be needed in a medical emergency, such as allergies, illnesses or other conditions that should be supplied to medical professionals.
If the subsurface disposal system fails an inspection, the owner normally has up to two years in which to correct the problem. However, the Board of Health may require that the owner address the problem within a shorter period should the failing system present a threat to the public health and the environment. If the property is sold, the new owner assumes responsibility for the failed septic system. The new owner may make an agreement with the town to connect to the municipal sewer system after taking ownership.
Yes. Title Five requires that owners of septic systems meet the standard of "maximum feasible compliance" with the requirements of the State Code. The level of compliance that may be met - that is, whether the system is simply repaired, replaced, or the home connected to the sewer - will depend on the characteristics of the property involved and the availability of the sewer. Local Lexington health regulations, however, require that if the sewer is available, the homeowner must connect to the municipal sewer system. If the sewer is not available near the home, the homeowner must apply to the Board of Health for a variance and provide for approval by the Board of Health a design for a new system that meets the requirements of Title Five. The Board of Health must also approve alternative systems to those specified in the state code.
No. Individual homeowners must hire their own licensed inspector.
The longer a tick remains attached to someone, the greater the chance it will be able to spread a disease-causing germ. Therefore, any attached tick should be removed as soon as possible. Using needle-nose, or pointed tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Slowly pull the tick away (this takes patience and often takes several minutes - pull slowly to allow the tick to release from the skin). Once you have the deer tick, it may be placed in a jar filled with a few ounces of rubbing alcohol which will both kill the tick and preserve it for future testing by your doctor, if necessary. To avoid spreading the bacterium, don't squash the tick with your bare hands.
Although not routinely recommended, taking antibiotics after a tick bite may be beneficial for some persons. If you answer "yes" to the following questions, discuss the possibilities with your health care provider:
Your health care provider must determine whether the advantages of prescribing antibiotics after a tick bite outweigh the disadvantages.
Whenever someone removes an attached tick from their body, they should watch for the appearance of any type of rash, fever or flu-like symptoms. Immediately seek the advice of a health care provider should any symptoms occur, especially if the tick was attached for more than 24 hours.
Ticks generally cling to plants near the ground in brushy, wooded, or grassy places. The edges of woodlands and leaf litter are high risk areas. The ticks, which cannot jump or fly, climb onto animals and people who brush against the plants.
If you cannot avoid areas likely to have ticks, the most important thing you can do to reduce your chances of getting sick is to check your entire body for ticks after returning indoors and to remove any attached tick as soon as possible. Pay particular attention to areas between the toes, back of the knees, groin, armpits, neck, along the hairline, and behind the ears. Review the MDPH Tick Identification Card to see what ticks look like.
Apply repellents that contain DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) or permethrin before you go outside to reduce the risk of tick bites. DEET is safe and effective in repelling ticks when used according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Choose a product that will provide sufficient protection for the amount of time you plan to spend outdoors. Product labels often indicate the length of time that someone can expect protection from a product. Repellents should not be used on children less than two months of age.
Permethrin-containing products kill ticks but are not designed to be applied to the skin. Clothing should be treated and allowed to dry in a well-ventilated area prior to wearing. Because permethrin binds very tightly to fabrics, once the fabric is dry, very little of the permethrin gets onto the skin.
You can reduce the number of ticks around your home by keeping your grass cut short and clearing brush. For more tips on preventing tick bites and reducing the number of ticks around your home, review the MDPH brochure Preventing Disease Spread By Ticks.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Part 1 of 2
Lexington Community CenterRoom Number 23739 Marrett Road, Lexington, MA
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Part 2 of 2
Yes, registration will be open until Friday, September 1st. Space is limited to the first 25 participants that register. After the class fills, participants will be added to a waitlist. Please only register if you can attend both sessions. To register, please email F Dagle or call 781-698-4533.
We are proud to welcome Jaime Lederer. Jaime has been a Mental Health First Aid trainer for 3 years. Having worked in urban settings including schools, community-based organizations and health care, her experience and expertise includes coalition-building, program planning, policy advocacy, group facilitation and training (with youth and adults). She currently works in the Community Health Improvement Department at Cambridge Health Alliance, focusing on substance use prevention and positive youth development in Everett, MA. She holds Masters degrees in Social Work and Public Health from Boston University.
This training is sponsored by the Town of Lexington Office of Public Health, Lexington Board of Health, Lexington Police, Lexington Fire and the Town of Lexington Human Services Department. This training is funded through CHNA 15 DoN funds from Lahey Hospital and Medical Center and Winchester Hospital.
For more information, contact the Town of Lexington, Office of Public Health in the Town Office Building at 1625 Massachusetts Avenue. If you have any questions concerning this matter, you may contact Gerard F. Cody, REHS/RS, Public Health Director at 781-698-4533 or by email.
The federal Freedom of Information Act is a statute that applies to federal records. The Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records created by or in the custody of a state or local agency, board, or other government entity.
The Division of Public Records (Division) has always provided an “attorney of the day” to assist any person seeking information regarding the Public Records Law.
The hours of operation for the Division are Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays, from 8:45 am to 5 pm. The telephone number for the Division is 617-727-2832, and can also be contacted via email.
Every record that is made or received by a government entity or employee is presumed to be a public record unless a specific statutory exemption permits or requires it to be withheld in whole or in part.
Specific statutory exemptions have been created by the legislature. There are non-statutory exemptions as well called common law exemptions. Non-statutory exemptions include the common law attorney-client privilege and the work-product privilege. These exemptions permit the agency or municipality to withhold a record from the public. A records access officer (RAO) must prove with specificity why it should be allowed to withhold any public record.
The exemptions to the Public Records Law are described in this guide. If an RAO claims an exemption and withholds a record, the RAO has the burden of showing how the exemption applies to the record and why it should be withheld.
A person seeking access to government records must obtain them from the government office that created or received the records.
The Division of Public Records (Division) is not a warehouse for government records. The only records kept in the Division are those that are essential to the business operations of the Division.
To obtain public records a person must directly contact the municipal or state agency office that is the custodian of the sought-for records.
The Public Records Law does not apply to records held by federal agencies, the legislature or the courts of the Commonwealth. Accordingly, the Supervisor is unable to assist requesters seeking such records.
A Records Access Officer (RAO) is the person responsible for responding to requests for public records. Information on how to contact an RAO is usually available on the website for the applicable municipal or state entity holding the records sought by requesters.
A records custodian means any governmental entity that makes or receives public records.
To obtain a copy of a record, you must make a request to the RAO for the municipal or state agency that you believe has the records you are seeking.
An RAO must respond to your request as determined by the Public Records Law. If the RAO fails to respond or denies a request, a requester may appeal the matter to the Supervisor within ninety days.
Under the Public Records Regulations, all appeals to the Supervisor must include a copy of the original request, any response by the RAO, and a statement indicating the reason for the appeal. The requester must also provide a copy of the appeal petition to the RAO.
A requester may also commence a civil action in superior court to enforce the requirements of the Public Records Law. Where applicable, the superior court may award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in cases where the requestor obtains relief.
The Supervisor will close an appeal without a finding if a requester fails to provide a copy of the request or the response. The Supervisor will close an appeal without a finding if the requester fails to provide a copy of the request to the RAO, or fails to provide a copy of the petition for appeal to the RAO.
In such cases, a requester may seek a new appeal, provided the appeal is filed in compliance with the Public Records Regulations.
An RAO’s response must be in writing and must provide the name of the RAO. The response must include a good faith estimate of any cost of providing the record.
The response must also include a specific exemption to the Public Records Law to justify the denial of access to any record, and an explanation of how that exemption applies to the records. Any denial must include instructions on how to appeal to the Supervisor of Records.
A written request is not required but is strongly recommended. An oral request made in person is permitted. An RAO is not permitted to require a written request but may write an oral request on its own form to assist in a prompt response.
To appeal an RAO response to the Supervisor, however, a request must be in writing.
The Public Records Law only applies to records. An RAO is not required by the Public Records Law to answer questions or create a record in response to a request; however, an RAO must provide any records that exist that respond to a question.
Absent a specifically identified statute or regulation, an RAO may charge no more than $0.05 per page for single and double-sided black and white paper copies or computer printouts. There is no longer a separate charge for police or fire reports, or for computer printouts.
The Public Records Law and its Regulations apply to all Massachusetts government records, regardless of form, and regardless of the location of the records.
Provision of public records in electronic form is preferred where available. An RAO is not permitted to assess a copying fee for electronic records. The $0.05 fee applies only to paper copies of records.
The Public Records Regulations require that an RAO provide a detailed, written, good faith estimate for the cost of complying with a public record request.
The fee estimate must contain a statement advising the requester that the actual cost of producing the record might vary once the agency or municipality begins preparing the record. An agency or municipality is permitted to require payment of the estimated fee before commencing work.
All agencies and municipalities are strongly urged to waive the fees associated with access to public records, but are not required to do so under the law.
Public records that are of great interest to a large number of people must be readily available within the office of the RAO and should be provided at a minimum cost, if any. Examples include minutes of board meetings, town meeting documents, warrants, street lists and municipal financial documents. Many of these records are required to be placed on the RAO’s website.
An RAO may charge and recover a fee for the time spent searching, redacting, photocopying, and refiling a record.
If a requestor wishes to review records in the records custodian's office but does not require copies, a records custodian may charge and recover a fee for his or her time spent searching for and redacting the records. Access to records viewed in this manner cannot be denied and only minor fees associated with securing the record should be charged.
The Open Meeting Law, applicable to public bodies such as select boards for towns, is enforced by the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Open Government. Any questions regarding the content of minutes, requirements to keep minutes or any procedural aspects of the Open Meeting Law should be addressed to the Division of Open Government.
Minutes of open meetings, regardless of form, are public and must be made available in a timely fashion.
There is no requirement that the minutes be transcribed or approved before they are made public. An RAO should clearly mark all such minutes “unofficial.”
Pursuant to the Open Meeting Law, minutes of prior open meetings, regardless of form, must be reviewed and accepted promptly. Copies of the minutes of all open meetings should be readily available. Many public bodies are required to post minutes of meetings on the public body’s website. RAOs are strongly encouraged to waive all fees associated with the minutes of open meetings.
Minutes of executive session meetings must be reviewed and released regularly and promptly. Executive session minutes must be released to the public as soon as the stated purpose for the executive session protection has ceased.
Under the Public Records Law, every requester is treated equally; therefore, even a person who is the subject of the record is not granted any greater access right than any other person.
Some statutes and regulations allow requesters to obtain records in a manner that does not require a request under the Public Records Law. It should be noted that once a record is deemed public it may be obtained by anyone upon request.
A list of statutes limiting access to public records is found in the back of this book. This list includes student records, criminal offender record information, and other records the access to which is limited by law.
With the possible exception of situations where the RAO is anticipating the withholding of records pursuant to Exemption (n) of the Public Records Law, determining whether the records are being requested for a commercial purpose, or determining whether to grant a fee waiver, a records custodian may not ask a requester the reason for the request or the intended use of the requested records.
RAOs must help the requester to determine the precise record or records responsive to a request; however, a requester must provide a reasonable description of the requested records. If a request is unclear the RAO is expected to seek clarification from the requester.
The Public Records Law only applies to Massachusetts governmental entities. The burden lies with the entity to show that the Public Records Law does not apply.
RAOs must use their knowledge of the records to ensure that a request for records is delivered to the appropriate party. A large public records request may include items for which the RAO is not directly responsible, as it may include a request for records of another division or department of the RAOs’ agency or municipality. An RAO is expected to forward such requests to the appropriate parties in responding to a public records request, and inform the requester he or she has done so.
The holder of a Learner's Permit may only operate a motor vehicle:
A Permit holder who is under the age of 18 may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of midnight. (midnight) and 5 am unless accompanied by his parent or legal guardian, who must:
The holder of a Learner's Permit may not operate in another state if it is in violation of that state's law.
The holder of a Learner's Permit must be in physical possession of the Permit when operating a motor vehicle.
The holder of a motorcycle Learner's Permit (Class M) may not carry passengers and may not operate after sunset or before sunrise.
Complete Question: I am 18 years old but I am only now getting my first driver's license. I know that I will have to obtain a Learner's Permit. Will I have to be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21 when I operate on my Learner's Permit?
Yes. By law, anyone who is operating a motor vehicle on a Learner's Permit, regardless of his or her age, must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age.
You would not have a "clean driving record," and you would not be allowed to take the road test if, within the 6 months immediately preceding the date of the test:
For the purposes of this section, an alternative disposition of a violation, including, but not limited to, having such violation continued without a finding, placed on file or a "responsible" finding on a civil motor vehicle infraction, shall be deemed to be a conviction. You may not take a road test until six months from the date of the arrest or issuance of the citation.
Complete Question: I have had my Learner's Permit for over 6 months. I recently received a speeding citation and I am going to contest it at an upcoming hearing in Court. Will I be subject to the requirement that my driving record must be "clean" for the 6 month period immediately preceding the date of the road test?
Yes. The 6 month period will be measured from the date of the "incident". In your case, that would be the date you received the citation. If the holder of a Learner's Permit is under the age of 18, and either pays the citation or is found "responsible" for a Civil Motor Vehicle Infraction (or "guilty" of a criminal motor vehicle violation) at the hearing (or after an appeal has been heard), the 6 month "clean" period will be measured from the "incident date," that is, the date the citation was received (or the person was arrested).
If the person is found "not responsible" or "not guilty" for the violation at a hearing (or after an appeal is heard) or the charges are dismissed, the person's driving record will be corrected to reflect the finding and the 6 month "clean" period will be measured from the date of the most recent violation, or if none had been committed, from the date the Learner's Permit was obtained.
Note: A surchargeable accident may also cause the 6-month period to begin anew. A surchargeable accident is one in which you are more than 50% at fault. It is treated the same as a citation, that is, it runs from the "incident" date. The 6 month period will re-start from the date of the accident even though you may not be notified of the surcharge until some time after the accident has occurred. If you successfully appeal the surcharge the RMV will correct its records to reflect the original 6-month period in the same way as if you were found "not responsible" for a citation. If your license is suspended, the 6-month period stops running and a new 6-month period will have to be established. It cannot start until the Learner's Permit has been reinstated.
The Department of Public Works (DPW) and Departments of Public Facilities (DPF) moved into the building in July 2009. Please see the department web pages for contact information.
The Public Services Building, Lexington's first public building that is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified, was designed and built to specific environmental standards. Major building features in the LEED scoring categories are:
Yes, during regular office hours: Monday through Friday 7 am to 4:30 pm.
Yes, there is a pickup area on the left side of the driveway.
The old Public Works operations facility at 201 Bedford Street was a converted 1800s-era trolley barn that had not been renovated since 1966. The facility was unsafe and inadequate for modern public works operations.
The DPW Facility Debt Exclusion was approved by the residents on June 5, 2007. The cost of the facility was on budget at $27,500,000, which was $3 million less than the original cost estimate. Groundbreaking on the new facility occurred in November of 2007 and despite some obstacles we were able to occupy the building within the proposed time frame.
Therapeutic Recreation uses leisure and recreation to either maintain or improve the quality of life for individuals of all abilities.
A CTRS is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist which is the qualified provider for Therapeutic Recreation Services. An individual who obtains their certification has received their bachelors degree, has completed a formal internship and has passed the national certification exam.
For the participant, inclusion is being invited to typical opportunities with family and friends and being welcomed as an equal participant, and having the necessary support in place to be successful. For the provider, inclusion is an ongoing process. This process involves identifying steps to take to include and support a person with a disability within any recreational programming
Inclusion support can be requested in one of two ways, either by answering "yes" to the registration question asking about inclusion support or you can email Kate DeAngelis the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist to request inclusion support for a program.
To promote independence we do not allow parents to act as the support staff for their children in program. Therapeutic Recreation programs are staffed with individuals who have completed training under the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and are qualified to support participants within program. Staff members will support participants 1:1 or through group support. In other programs, inclusion aides can be requested to provide 1:1 or group support.
ABA therapists and Direct Support Professionals may be eligible to support a participant in program after the family has contacted the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and has completed the necessary forms.
As a part of the intake process, the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist may ask to speak to your child's teacher or view their IEP to gain more insight on your child's behaviors, learning styles and more. The information found in IEPs or provided by the teacher can help the TRS plan for supporting your child within the program.
Programs, camps, athletic teams, and recreation opportunities designed specifically for, and only open to, individuals with disabilities
Changing or modifying activities to increase independence and participation. Adaptations can be made in three areas: Equipment, Rules and Methods, and Instruction Aides.
Call the Town Clerk's Office at 781-698-4558 or check the Massachusetts state voting webpage.
The two parties to the marriage must jointly apply for the license (file intentions) in person at the Town Clerk's Office. Marriage licenses are state licenses and can be applied for at any town/city hall within Massachusetts.
To order a certified copy of a vital record:
The fee for obtaining a certified copy of a vital record is $15. Acceptable forms of payment are cash or personal checks.
You may register to vote at any Town Clerk's Office, Board of Registrars, or Registry of Motor Vehicles in the Commonwealth. Mail-in registration cards are available at the Post Office, and libraries or can be downloaded from the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
For all elections, voters must register 10 days before the date of the election.
You may contact the Town Manager's Office. A special event is any activity that occurs upon public or private property that affects the ordinary use of parks, playgrounds, fields, buildings, public streets, right-of-ways, or sidewalks. Special events may include festivals, fairs, concerts, holiday celebrations, parades, athletic tournaments, road or bicycle races, etc.
You may call the Town Manager's Office at 781-698-4540.
Job opportunities for all non-school departments are advertised on the Employment page. Contact the School Department for job opportunities at the public schools.
Read about volunteering on a board or committee.
It may be the work of Winter Moths.
Yes, but maybe not tomorrow. The process for requesting a tree planting:
Street Tree Planting: Let's assume there is no street tree in front of your property. A street tree is usually defined as one in the public Right-of-Way, roughly, between sidewalk and street. Send or bring your request to the attention of the Superintendent of Public Grounds and Tree Warden Christopher Filadoro, Department of Public Works (DPW), phone number 781-274-8300, ext. 8355 (email Christopher Filadoro). The DPW will take a look to see if the planting strip is wide enough - usually 4 feet minimum - or otherwise suitable. If it is, this spot will go on a waiting list for planting.
Front-Yard Planting: If the Right-of-Way is found to be unsuitable, you may request a street tree to be planted on your own property close to the street-side. The Town's Setback Planting Agreement provides for the planting of a tree "off berm" on your property, at no cost to you. You will sign an agreement that you will care for the tree, and at the end of the year, you will assume full ownership and responsibility for it. (If it dies within one year, the Town will replace it.) To request a tree, email Chris Filadoro. Please give your full name, street address, email address and phone number. Prior to the planting season, you will be contacted by a member of the Tree Committee to discuss the tree planting location in the setback area in the front of your property, select a tree from available species at the time, and sign the Setback Agreement Form. All requests will be kept on file. Note: Twenty trees are being planted in the fall of 2011 and the planting lists for the fall and spring of 2012 are filled. Make your request now to be on the waiting list for 2013 and beyond. You could be moved up the list if or when there are openings.
The Veterans' office has access to the Massachusetts Military Records Database and can look up a DD214/discharge record if the Veteran enlisted in the military while living in Massachusetts. If a record isn't in this database, our office can assist you to complete a request for records from National Military Archives in St. Louis, Missouri.
View the definition as stated by the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 4, Section 7, Clause 43 as amended by the Acts of 2005, Chapter 130: Definition of a Massachusetts Veteran.
If you served in the active military, naval, or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. The first step is to apply. The Veterans' Services office can assist you in completing the four-page application: VA Form 10-10EZ.
A lot of companies offer discounts if you show a veteran identification (ID) card. This ID card is actually your picture ID that you get when enrolling in the VA health care system. Our office can assist you with the application (VA Form 10-10EZ) for applying for the VA health care system.
Read about The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display and Associated Questions (U.S. Congress, Updated April 14, 2008) for information about proper flag display, flag condition, and more.
The United States Code, Title 4 Chapter 1, Section 8, says:The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.
You can leave old and worn flags at the Veterans Office, or at the Flag Retirement Box at the Hartwell Transfer Station located at:60 Hartwell AvenueLexington, MA 02421
Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, fuel, and medical care in accordance with a formula that takes into account the number of dependents and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased veterans are provided with the same benefits as if the veteran were still living. For applications, contact the local Veterans’ Service Officer (VSO) in the city or town where the veteran lives.
Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to a monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility for Pension. Please visit the Veterans' Service office for assistance with the aid and attendance application process.
Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses.
Please visit the Veterans' Services office for assistance with the application for VA Disability Compensation.
Residents will begin receiving postcards in the mail, marked with the Town of Lexington's seal, requesting that they schedule an appointment. The scheduling process is made easy through both phone and online options. The actual process of replacing or retrofitting the meter will take approximately 45 minutes.
The installation work will be performed by a private contractor, Thielsch Engineering, whose installers are well trained in the replacement of water meters.
The installer will need to enter some residents' homes. It all depends on the age of the existing meter and the location of the existing endpoint/reading device. If the meter is 10 years or older, the technician will need to enter the house for a full meter replacement. If the meter was installed 9 years ago or sooner then the installer will need to enter the building if the endpoint/reading device is located inside the building.
Learn more about COVID-19 protocols for meter installation. (PDF)
Town Meeting appropriated the funds for this project. Water customers will not be charged for the replacement or retrofit of their existing meter(s).
Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) systems allow a community to automatically retrieve meter readings without having to enter the customer's home or facility or access their property.
The two general categories of AMR systems widely used today are mobile and fixed-network. The term Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is used to describe fixed-network AMR systems enabled with functionalities beyond meter reading for billing, such as the acquisition of interval reads and event flags, such as leak and tamper identification.
We will be installing an AMI system, which provides the following benefits:
There are a total of 14,451 active water meters exist in the Town's system. The largest portion of the DPW's metering infrastructure was installed between 1998 and 2002. As with any mechanical device, water meters are subject to wear and tear, and over time begin to lose their accuracy.
Instead of budgeting to test small meters, utilities typically budget to replace meters when they reach a specified age. The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Guidelines and Policies for Public Water Systems states that the normal life expectancy of water meters ranges from 7 to 15 years. Approximately 45% of the Town's small water meters have been in service 15-years or longer.
The project involves replacing domestic and irrigation meters in service prior to 2010. These meters will be replaced with solid state meters, which do not depreciate in accuracy over time and therefore will provide great value in a replacement program.
Meters put in service since 2010 that have remaining useful life will be retrofitted with a new reading device.
Once you've received a postcard in the mail, you can schedule your appointment by calling Thielsch Engineering at 1-888-709-9944 Monday-Friday, 8 am to 4 pm. You can also schedule appointments online. Please do not contact the Town of Lexington to schedule your appointment.
A Short Term Rental, or STML, refers to the rental of any dwelling unit or bedroom as a residential accommodation for a duration of less than 30 consecutive days. Common hosting platforms used are Air BnB, VRBO, Craigslist, HomeAway, Boston Rentals, Couch Surfing, and FlipKey.
A resident, classified as an Operator-Occupied or Operator-Adjacent, will be allowed to rent a whole dwelling unit, or up to three bedrooms within their own dwelling unit for no longer than thirty (30) consecutive days, with a 120-day limitation per calendar year, when the Operator is not present.
Property owners would need to apply for annual registration and will be subject to an inspection by the Building and Zoning Office before issuing a Certificate of Registration.