BOSTON (CBS) — Gov. Charlie Baker has sworn in the new Superintendent and Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police.
Col. Kerry Gilpin, formerly the Deputy Division Commander of the Division of Standards and Training and a 23-year State Police veteran, took over the job effective immediately Wednesday.
Gilpin in part chose to go into law enforcement after her sister Tracy was murdered in 1986. Her sister’s killer was never found, and the search for justice is said to have inspired her.
“Whether working to protect public safety from internal threats such as the terrible scourge of opioids or from those seeking to attack us from outside our borders, the role of the Massachusetts has never been more important than it is today,” Col. Gilpin said in a release. “I am honored to lead this great organization forward and look forward to carrying out this vital mission in close collaboration with our local and federal partners.”
Her appointment comes after the retirements of Colonel Richard McKeon and Deputy Superintendent Francis Hughes amid claims that a trooper was told to change a report so the daughter of Dudley District Judge Timothy Bibaud could avoid embarrassment.
Alli Bibaud, the judge’s daughter, was arrested on drug charges. McKeon admitted to ordering changes be made to the report.
Trooper Dana Pullman, president of the State Police Association of Mass., said he does not believe the recent retirements serve as vindication for the troopers who sued over the edited reports.
“No. I don’t know if that’s vindication or not,” Pullman said. “I think people make choices based on what they know.”
Gov. Baker said he had the “utmost confidence” in Col. Gilpin.
“She has a 24-year history with the department, has served in a variety of rolls, is well qualified and I believe she will do a terrific job,” Baker said.
The Hampden native also recently worked on a team project to reduce opioid deaths as part of Harvard University’s National Preparedness Leadership Initiative.
When asked if he believed Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett should come under scrutiny, Baker said he supports Bennett.
“I stand 100 percent behind Sec. Bennett. I do not believe Sec. Bennett did anything wrong,” Baker said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports