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Boston police head institutes ‘no lying’ rule

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Boston police head institutes ‘no lying’ rule

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis has announced that he will fire officers convicted of perjury or caught lying during internal investigations.

The commissioner said last week the policy was necessary after a series of high-profile lying cases that led to costly lawsuits and tarnished the department’s reputation. He said the policy is necessary to protect the department’s credibility and integrity.

Davis thinks the public will support the policy.

Police unions say the department already has rules in place for punishing officers who lie or commit perjury. Detective Miller Thomas, president of the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society, called Davis’ announcement a publicity stunt.

One union official worried the new rule could be used to punish an officer who makes an honest mistake.

Mass. unemployment rates jumps to 9.4 percent

Massachusetts’ unemployment rate jumped to 9.4 percent in December after dropping for two consecutive months.

 The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported last week that the unemployment rate was up from a revised rate of 8.7 percent in November, but still remains below the national average of 10 percent.

The number of jobs were down 8,400 last month, driven by a loss of 5,000 losses in the trade, transportation and utilities sector; 3,400 in leisure and hospitality; and 3,300 in retail.

Construction lost 1,800 jobs after gaining jobs in the previous two months.

The education and health services sector added 1,000 jobs in December, the third consecutive monthly gain. Financial services also added jobs for the first time since May.

Foreclosures fell in Mass. last year

The number of home foreclosures initiated in Massachusetts last year jumped about 28 percent over 2008, but that figure was tempered by the fact that the number of completed foreclosures in 2009 was down more than 25 percent compared with the previous year.

The year-end numbers were released Thursday by The Warren Group, a Boston firm that tracks real estate data.

Chief Executive Timothy Warren Jr. called the figures a good news-bad news situation. He says the bad news is that unemployment and other economic hardships put more people in danger of losing their homes.

The good news was that efforts to modify mortgages and a court decision that forced some lenders to hold back on recording foreclosure deeds slowed foreclosure activity in 2009.