BOSTON - Governor Charlie Baker and Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin have announced a 30-day update to state police reforms.
The letter “H” now hangs on the former home of Troop E in Weston in a symbolic change following an embarrassing report that found numerous troopers were getting paid for hours they never worked.
Troop E for years patrolled the Massachusetts Turnpike, but was disbanded and its barracks were reassigned to the closest geographic troop divisions.
Members of Troop E were caught putting in for overtime shifts they never worked. That inflated incomes to more than $300,000 a year for some.
Our administration has been working closely with Colonel Gilpin to implement reforms at the @MassStatePolice to improve public safety and restore the public’s trust in the Department. https://t.co/PLO0J8hK51— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) May 2, 2018
Gilpin and Baker announced the four former Troop E barracks were absorbed into regional Troops that cover portions of the Mass. Pike. This will increase staffing levels and help improve public safety as now overtime shifts for the Pike are now available for 786 troopers, instead of the just 136 formerly assigned to Troop E.
The staffing study at Troop F, which patrols Logan International Airport and the Seaport, showed the troop had been understaffed, which Gilpin said resulted in the excessive overtime. As of May 27, Troop F staffing will be increased to 154 members.
“I am proud of the work done by my command staff and other Department members in beginning to enact these reforms. Much work remains to be done, and I am confident we will accomplish our mission of increasing the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of the State Police while further enhancing our capabilities to protect everyone who lives and works in Massachusetts and travels through the Commonwealth,"
- Col. Kerry Gilpin
Gilpin also looked at GPS monitoring of troopers’ cruisers and a potential body camera program. As of May 2, GPS technology has been activated in all 1,087 marked patrol cruisers. MSP is working on developing a plan to install the technology in all other vehicles in the fleet.
Gilpin says the technology will "enhance officer safety by readily identifying the location of a State Police cruiser to supervisors, and will also assist field commanders in more effectively deploying personnel in critical incidents and emergencies"
A series of scandals have plagued Massachusetts State Police, including overtime pay discrepancies, hidden payroll figures, and changes to an arrest report involving a judge's daughter.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.