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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is appointing a special review panel to determine whether MIT Police have the policies, governance and disciplinary systems needed to promote police practice at the highest level.
The panel's creation comes after an MIT police officer was arrested last weekend on suspicion of trafficking prescription painkillers.
MIT Executive Vice President and Treasurer Theresa M. Stone said the panel will be drawn from "experienced, respected, objective individuals" from the MIT community and beyond.
"Ensuring the safety of MIT's students, faculty and staff is MIT's paramount concern," Stone said in a statement, adding that the panel will report to President Susan Hockfield and to her.
The MIT Police force reports to Stone.
Officer Joseph D'Amelio of the MIT Police was arrested on March 14 in East Boston after he received a delivery of the drugs OxyContin and Roxycodone. MIT immediately placed him on administrative leave without pay.
Federal, state and local law enforcement agents arrested D'Amelio at an East Boston auto garage after an officer posing as a Federal Express employee delivered a package containing about 340 80mg OxyContin tablets and an additional quantity of 30mg Roxycodone tablets. Agents also arrested D'Amelio's cousin, Anthony Cristallo, of Derry, N.H., who was outside the garage.
The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office said that at the time of his arrest, D'Amelio was wearing an MIT Police uniform and driving a marked MIT Police cruiser. It said D'Amelio and Cristallo were charged with trafficking in more than 100 grams of OxyContin, an offense that carries a minimum of 10 years and as many as 20 years in state prison.
At an arraignment on Monday in East Boston District Court, D'Amelio and Cristallo pleaded not guilty. Bail was set at $500,000 cash for both men.