About the Project
A program launched in the spring of 2011 by the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Massachusetts Major City Chiefs provides police officers in cities and town across the Commonwealth, and police officers of the MBTA Transit Police, with identification cards that are of a uniform design and that have security features that thwart tampering and counterfeiting. Police departments have never had ID cards with these security features before. Criminals often pose as police officers and citizens have never had a means to ensure that they are dealing with an authentic police officer. Now they do, and we believe our program is the first of its kind.
The new ID cards are issued to police officers only. Police departments may not issue them to personnel who are not paid for the providing of police service, such as auxiliary officers, or to civilian dispatchers, school crossing guards, animal control officers, honorary police officers, politicians or appointees who, by virtue of a city or town charter, are deemed to be “police commissioners” or otherwise have supervisory responsibility for a police agency.
Cards bearing the word RETIRED in red may be issued to retired police officers who meet the federal definition of “qualified retired law enforcement officer” found in the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (Title 18 USC Section 926C).
The new Massachusetts police ID cards are manufactured by L-1 Identity Solutions. L-1 is an industry pioneer that manufactures drivers’ licenses for 46 states, including Massachusetts. The Secure Credentialing division is headquartered in Billerica, Massachusetts.
Some of the security features of the new ID are covert, and known only to the police, while others are overt. You may view a sample card and read about its overt features by visiting the ID Features page of this web site. Perhaps the most significant security feature, and the one already familiar to Massachusetts drivers, is the Kinegram®, an Optical Variable Device used on the commonwealth’s drivers’ license. The colors and images of the device change as the card is rotated. If a citizen sees a police ID that does not have a Kinegram® like the one on their own license, the card has not been issued as part of the program. Permission to use the Massachusetts Kinegram® was granted by Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian.
You may watch a six-minute video that shows and describes the new ID card by visiting the Resources page. This tab also provides a poster that shows the new ID card and its security features. We encourage both public and private security entities to download the poster and provide it to personnel who work at the entrances to secure venues.
The initial costs for the project and cards issued to active duty police officers are being paid using funds from the Department of Homeland Security. DHS funding does not pay for ID cards issued to retired officers.
If you have questions or comments, visit the Contact page and let us know. Our mission is to keep you safe.