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Head Of State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin Is Stepping Down04:50
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Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin faces reporters during a news conference on April 2, 2018, at the State House in Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)
Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin faces reporters during a news conference on April 2, 2018, at the State House in Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)

Col. Kerry Gilpin, the head of the Massachusetts State Police, will step down after exactly two years on the job.

State police officials said in a release Wednesday that the 25-year veteran of the force — appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker in November 2017 to lead the embattled agency as its superintendent and colonel — is retiring, effective Nov. 15. She is 49 years old.

Since March 2018, the agency has been embroiled in scandals over revelations that multiple state police troopers had been paid overtime for hours they did not work. Several troopers have pleaded guilty in the overtime abuse scandal.

The statement included Gilpin's farewell remarks to the department, which directly referenced the scandal and the "tremendous challenges" the department faced as a result. Gilpin wrote:

It remains deeply disheartening to me that a small number of our personnel chose to violate our principles and values. We have taken action to address their transgressions, conducting thorough and painstaking internal investigations as well as criminal investigations. I have been tremendously disappointed that some members of this remarkable organization have betrayed the public trust that so many of us worked so hard to earn.

She added that during her tenure, she had been "fully committed to restoring that trust to ensure that the actions of a few do not overshadow the reputation and hard work of the vast majority who conduct themselves with the utmost integrity every day." She urged her colleagues to "remain focused" on earning and maintaining the public's trust, and added that she is leaving "this job with the satisfaction of knowing that I gave it my heart and soul, under the most trying of circumstances."

Gov. Charlie Baker praised Gilpin on Wednesday for implementing several reforms following the scandal, including eliminating Troop E — the group of troopers responsible for policing the MassPike — and referring 46 troopers for criminal prosecution. Troop E was disbanded in 2018 after allegations of widespread overtime pay abuse by its members.

In the statement, Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco said:

Over the course of a distinguished 25-year career, Kerry Gilpin has committed herself to the most fundamental work of law enforcement: protecting the public, serving the community, and advancing the interests of justice inside and outside the Department of State Police. As colonel, she has implemented meaningful, lasting changes at every level of the Department, and I am grateful for her service and wish her the very best in her retirement.

In her remarks, Gilpin also cited several efforts she was proud occurred under her watch, including changes to the department's practices around transparency and accountability, completion of the force's body camera pilot program and continued efforts to remove heroin and fentanyl from the commonwealth's streets.

Gilpin, who had previously been the department's deputy division commander of the division of standards and training, was appointed by Baker days after her predecessor, Col. Richard McKeon, announced his retirement amid a legal controversy. McKeon had been accused in a federal lawsuit of ordering a subordinate to alter a police report that offered embarrassing details of the arrest of the daughter of a Dudley drug court judge.

Massachusetts law requires that the governor name a replacement to the position from within the state police's ranks. But Baker said Wednesday that he'll send a state police reform package to the Legislature, and he hinted that one of its items would allow the governor to choose a leader from outside the agency.

This segment aired on November 6, 2019.

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