In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Baker-Polito administration submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today, February 18, released the 2020 Massachusetts Hate Crimes Report.
The report is compiled from data submitted by law enforcement agencies across Massachusetts and supports a better understanding of the evolving nature of hate crimes in the Commonwealth.
The Administration also provided an update on its efforts to combat hate crimes in Massachusetts, building on Governor Charlie Baker’s re-establishment of the Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes in 2017.
As part of that continued work, the Administration today endorsed an updated definition of antisemitism that was first adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
By endorsing this definition, the Administration is re-affirming its commitment to combatting antisemitism and all forms of hate, wherever it is found.
Click here to read the Governor’s proclamation endorsing the IHRA’s updated definition of antisemitism.
“There is no place for hate or discrimination in Massachusetts, and our Administration is proud to work with community and faith leaders, law enforcement and others to combat hate crimes and ensure the Commonwealth remains a welcoming community to everyone,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Building on our ongoing work through the Task Force on Hate Crimes, we are proud today to endorse this updated definition of antisemitism to make clear that as the forms of hate and intolerance evolve, so will our efforts to respond.”
“Combatting hate crimes requires constant vigilance, and we have worked with the Task Force on Hate Crimes to better equip our law enforcement officers, schools and houses of worship to confront these threats,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “We will continue to work with all these partners to keep our communities safe and welcoming for everyone.”
The Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes is made up of a wide range of members with expertise in community advocacy, law enforcement, health care, law, government, and education, and represent diversity in gender, race, industry, region, age and education.
The Task Force has guided the Administration’s work to combat hate crimes in a number of ways:
- Helping Law Enforcement Combat Hate Crimes: In 2018, the Task Force made recommendations to Massachusetts law enforcement agencies. As a result of those recommendations, the Administration urged local law enforcement to appoint a Civil Rights Officer and at this time every municipal police department in Massachusetts has a designated CRO, with State Police providing that service for some smaller, rural departments.
- Supporting Schools’ Response to Hate Crimes: In 2021,the Task Force released a School Resource Guideoutlining best practices to assist elementary and secondary schools in developing a comprehensive hate crime policy to prevent, report, and raise awareness of bias-driven crimes.
- Protecting Houses of Worship: The Administration recognizes the evolving nature of hate crime threats to houses of worship. To support physical security infrastructure enhancements at these institutions, the Administration in 2018 established the Commonwealth Nonprofit Security Grant. Since then, the program has awarded $3.9 million in grants.
In 2021, Governor Baker signed legislation that will ultimately transition the Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes into a new statutory Hate Crimes Task Force under Section 221 of Chapter 6 of the General Laws.
About the 2020 Hate Crimes Report:
To compile the report, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) received a total of 385 reports of incidents of hate crime, up from 376 in 2019, from a total of 95 agencies.
In addition, 271 agencies submitted “zero reports,” indicating that they had experienced no bias-motivated incidents. Together, these agencies covered approximately 95% of the population of Massachusetts.
The remaining number of “non-reporting” agencies decreased to 38, which is a 45.7% decrease in the last 5 years.
After receipt and state data quality checks, EOPSS submitted all Massachusetts hate crime data to the FBI for further analysis, verification, and inclusion in its annual Hate Crime Statistics publication.
As in past years, 2020 hate crime data was collected utilizing two methods – the more detailed National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and the older Uniform Crime Report (UCR) system.
It is important to note that several of the categories displayed in this report may only be available from the NIBRS–reporting agencies, as NIBRS captures many data elements that UCR does not capture. In 2020, 383 incidents were submitted via NIBRS from 93 agencies, while 2 were submitted via UCR.