The Boston City Council is looking at extending the required retiring age for Boston Police officers.
During the regular city council meeting, Councilor Michael Flaherty requested a public hearing surrounding the retirement age for police officers. Currently, police officers are required to retire once they reach 65 years old.
“It’s 2019. Does 65 make sense?” asked Flaherty. “Can we talk about 67? Can we talk about 69 years old?”
Flaherty also wants to know the exact number of current officers who are nearing the retirement age. He heard it could be as many as 300 to 400 police officers who will be 65 in the next 18 months.
Flaherty invited the Police Chief to the hearing, as well as other police officers to get their perspective on this proposal. He also wants to know how much it would cost the city if they raise the mandatory retirement age.
He acknowledged that, while some police officers might want to stay on the force pass the age of 65, others will not.
“I think it will be a mixed reaction,” he said. “I don’t think we should be handcuffed and lose that talent.”
Councilor Ed Flynn agreed with his colleague.
“They have a lot more to offer our city,” he said. “They still want to contribute.”
Flynn stated that many of these officers have years of experience and expertise. They also have relationships to the communities, which is valuable. He said it would be a shame to lose all of that just because of age.
“If they meet physical requirements, let’s give them the opportunity to continue to serve this city,” Flynn added.
Councilor Lydia Edwards admitted she had mixed reactions to the proposal. She said it would be good in terms of police details and thought they were already using police officers for police detail roles.
However, she said they also need to examine Boston Police manpower issues overall.
“I look forward to this conversation,” she said.