Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Col. Kerry Gilpin announced Wednesday she will retire from her post as soon as next week.
Gilpin’s departure, set for Nov. 15, comes amid a backdrop of recent scandals that have plagued the department and will usher in a new chief officer for a third time in just over four years.
“The last two years have presented tremendous challenges for the department,” Gilpin said in remarks announcing her retirement. “However, I believe that with great adversity comes great opportunity. We have accomplished so much during this difficult time, and I am confident that you will continue to build upon this foundation.”
As of this year, state police have accused 46 current and former troopers of collecting overtime pay for time they allegedly spent off the clock.
In August, the former president of the Massachusetts State Police union was arrested by federal authorities, who allege he embezzled cash from the union and took kickback payments from a lobbyist, one of several other scandals that have embroiled State Police since 2017.
“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,” Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco said in a statement. “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.”
Read Gilpin’s full announcement to state police:
Serving as the Colonel/Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police has been the greatest honor of my professional life. Effective November 15, I will be retiring from the State Police after 25 years of service to the citizens of the Commonwealth.
I want to thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for the trust they placed in me to lead this agency and to implement critically important operational and fiscal reforms.
The last two years have presented tremendous challenges for the Department. However, I believe that with great adversity comes great opportunity. We have accomplished so much during this difficult time, and I am confident that you will continue to build upon this foundation.
Over the last two years, I have made it a priority to support the men and women of this agency, increasing training opportunities, equipment and safety initiatives.
In addition, we have taken concrete steps to enhance the Department’s responsiveness, transparency and accountability to the public we serve. Our State Police Detective Units are clearing cases at a rate well above the national average. We continue to play a leading role in removing fentanyl and heroin – the substances driving the opioid epidemic – from our streets. Relationships with our local, state and federal partners are stronger than ever. The rollout of Orion is scheduled to begin on November 17. Our body camera pilot program is complete and we will begin requesting proposals from vendors in the immediate future. With the steadfast support of the Baker-Polito administration, as well as the Legislature, we have graduated two academy classes and will soon commence the largest class ever to enter the State Police Academy. These, along with other critical initiatives, are well underway and will only strengthen our agency.
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. I have 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.
During my tenure as Colonel, I have depended upon the assistance of the countless MSP employees, sworn and civilian, who serve our citizens selflessly and with unfailing integrity and honor, day after day. I want to commend and express my gratitude to each of the dedicated members who serve dutifully and heroically each day. Your efforts and sacrifice to ensure the safety of our Commonwealth and its citizens are greatly appreciated.
I urge you to remain focused on your continued efforts to earn and maintain the public’s trust. There is work left to be done, but I am confident it will be accomplished by the many outstanding men and women who demonstrate a relentless commitment to our organization’s mission.
Serving in this position has also provided me the indescribable privilege of meeting the families of many homicide victims and missing persons. Hearing their stories and observing their strength in the face of unimaginable pain – and seeing the faith they put in law enforcement to speak for, and seek justice for, their loved ones – has been a constant source of inspiration and strength.
I leave this job with the satisfaction of knowing that I gave it my heart and soul, under the most trying of circumstances. I am extremely proud of the progress and accomplishments we have made together. The Massachusetts State Police is composed of some of the best law enforcement personnel in the nation and I leave with the privilege of having worked alongside all of you.
In closing, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have served as your Colonel, humbled by your heroism, commitment and dedication and will remain forever changed by this amazing experience.
Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin
Massachusetts State Police