Baker urges new steps for reporting hate crimes in state

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker says the state will create a new website to track reports of hate crimes.

Baker on Monday also asked police departments across Massachusetts to designate at least one officer to coordinate the response to hate crimes within their communities. They would be known as civil rights officers and be responsible for reporting criminal acts that appear to be motivated by bias to the state website.

The Republican governor made that request in a letter to Massachusetts police chiefs following recommendations made by a hate crimes task force that began meeting about a year ago.

Baker separately asked a statewide group that helps train police to develop specialized courses for civil rights officers.

The website will allow users to view and cross-reference hate crime data from around the state.

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