Healey names 30-year veteran of State Police as interim colonel

Gov. Maura Healey tapped Lt. Col. John Mawn Jr., a 30-year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police, to serve as interim colonel of the department as she looks both inside and outside its current ranks for someone to assume the role on a permanent basis.

Col. Christopher Mason retired from State Police service Friday after more than three years as the department's top official.

Mawn has been serving as commander of the Division of Investigative Services, which investigates homicides, violent crime, crimes against children, drug offenses, cybercrimes and organized crime investigations.

Healey's office said that the Investigative Services Division had a 97% homicide solve rate under Mawn and also launched new trainings to enhance investigations, increase police accountability, and implement new strategies. He also created the State Police's first division diversity officer to recruit women and people of color, review job postings and hiring practices for potential bias, and report division-wide diversity statistics.

"Lieutenant Colonel Mawn is an accomplished leader with 30 years of experience at the Massachusetts State Police," Healey said. "We are grateful for his public service and know he has the commitment and skills to provide steady leadership during this transition period."

The governor is "finalizing plans to establish a comprehensive search process to identify and review prospective candidates" for the permanent role, her office said. Healey said this week that she is looking for someone with "integrity and managerial competence." Healey is the first governor able to take advantage of a provision of the 2020 policing reform law allowing the State Police colonel to be hired from outside of the department's current ranks.

Mawn joined the State Police in 1993 after service with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Gulf War and in Kuwait, and six years as a police officer in Harwich. He moved through the ranks to become captain and executive officer of Troop D, and later major and deputy division commander of investigative services. Mawn holds degrees in criminal justice from Curry College.



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