Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Patrick to set new curbs on police details

Governor Deval Patrick is planning to release new regulations this morning that will take on powerful police unions by limiting construction details on nearly all state-owned roads, say several people who were briefed on the regulations.

While the plan will not force municipalities to adopt the regulations, it is the most aggressive step yet to end a cash cow for police officers that critics have long called a waste of taxpayer dollars.

The plan, which will be developed by the Massachusetts Highway Department, will delineate when police details should be used and when civilians in bright vests with flags will suffice. Some roads - generally those with speed limits above 45 miles per hour and with more than 4,000 vehicles per day - will still rely on sworn police officers to monitor traffic.