Lt. Col. Timothy Alben, a 30-year Massachusetts State Police veteran, was sworn-in Friday by Gov. Deval Patrick as the new superintendent of the 2,300-member department.
Alben, 53, succeeds Col. Marian McGovern, the first woman to lead the state police. McGovern announced her retirement earlier this month.
Patrick said he chose Alben for the depth and range of his experience.
The East Longmeadow resident began his career as a state trooper in 1983 and previously served as an investigator in the Hampden District Attorney's office and as head of the State Police Organized Crime Unit in western Massachusetts.
Alben's most recent assignment was as commander of the Division of Field Services, the largest unit within the state police.
Alben said his priorities included strengthening ties between the state police and local police departments, particularly those in larger urban areas. He also said he would look to continue the process of modernizing the state police crime lab, citing the successful use of DNA profiling in recent prosecutions, and updating the department's record keeping.
"We look to have a state of the art records management system in place within the next few years that is really going to take us well into the 21st century," he said.
Alben's father, Albert, also served in the state police and attended Friday's State House swearing-in ceremony.
Patrick said McGovern had done a "magnificent job" since being named superintendent of the state police nearly three years ago.
"This is not a department that needs a radical overhaul," said Patrick. "It has been very responsive not just to my interests but more importantly the interests of the people of the commonwealth."
McGovern did not attend the event. Patrick said she has promised to spend Friday, her last day on the job, visiting with graduates of the state police academy.
The department was formed in 1865, making it the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the U.S.
This article was originally published on July 13, 2012.
This program aired on July 13, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.