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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Governor Baker Announces New State Police Superintendent with Goals to Modernize Training, Increase Diversity, and Emphasize Accountability

Governor Baker Announces New State Police Superintendent with Goals to Modernize Training, Increase Diversity, and Emphasize Accountability

BOSTON – Governor Baker tapped Lieutenant Colonel Christopher S. Mason as the next colonel and superintendent of the State Police, effective Friday, November 15th. At a press conference today in the State House, Mason identified a series of proposals to focus on accountability and conduct, increasing diversity within the agency, and updating training.

In remarks today, the 26-year veteran of the Department expressed his deep pride in New England’s largest police force as well as his commitment to modernizing it, including some initial first steps:

  • Ensuring all Troop E Internal Affairs investigations are completed, and that the cases for terminated or retired troopers are referred to the State Retirement Board for pension forfeiture consideration if wrongdoing is found;
  • Implementing mandatory ethics training for all members, focusing on time and attendance issues and supervisors’ duties;
  • Directing the State Police Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity to immediately review options for promoting women and people of color into key positions; and
  • Changing the State Police Academy curriculum to rely less on paramilitary training and more on modern policing skills such as empathy, de-escalation, identification of vulnerable populations, and the response to emerging public safety threats

“At a pivotal time for Massachusetts State Police, Chris Mason has the experience and vision to lead the Department forward with reforms and innovation that will shape its future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration is grateful for the changes put in motion under Colonel Kerry Gilpin, and supports Colonel Mason as he completes critical reforms to finish Troop E internal affairs investigations and fully implement AVL technology and the body camera procurement. Drawing on his years of experience, we are confident Colonel Mason will lay out a vision for the Department’s future that will bring meaningful reform and restored public trust to the Commonwealth.”

“Colonel Mason’s decades-long and wide-ranging career in law enforcement has well equipped him to lead the Massachusetts State Police with integrity and dignity,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Governor Baker and I are appreciative of the hard work and commitment demonstrated by Colonel Kerry Gilpin and we look forward to our continued collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police and the new leadership Colonel Mason will bring to the department.”  

“I look forward to a continued partnership with Colonel Mason, whose commitment to excellence has been evident in every position he’s held,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Thomas Turco. “He’s brought the highest levels of integrity and professionalism to the job as a trooper, an investigator, a commander, and an administrator. He understands the values of both tradition and reform, and he reflects an outstanding selection by Governor Baker.”

“I am grateful for the remarkable trust that Governor Baker and his Administration have placed in me,” said Colonel Mason. “I promise to earn that trust every day with the men and women of the Massachusetts State Police who reflect our values of honesty, integrity, and service.  These values are foremost in my mind as we move the Department and our public safety mission forward.”

Mason currently serves as a lieutenant colonel and deputy superintendent of the Department of State Police. Prior to that, he commanded the Division of Investigative Services, a position in which he oversaw all State Police detective units and forensic personnel. He has also served as deputy commander of the Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness, acting as director of the Commonwealth Fusion Center and supervising the Cyber Crimes Unit, High Risk Victims Unit, Identification Section, and Fraud Identification Unit. Mason also worked for many years as a trooper, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and commanding officer for the Cape and Islands State Police Detective Unit, where he investigated homicides, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes.

Mason graduated from the State Police Academy in 1993 after serving as a natural resource officer in Barnstable for eight years. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and attended the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commanders Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School’s Fusion Center Leaders Program.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Anna Maria College.

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