BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Christopher Mason will be the next head of the Massachusetts State Police. Governor Charlie Baker made the announcement at the State House late Wednesday morning.

Mason has been with the State Police for 26 years. He is currently the second in command under Colonel Kerry Gilpin, who announced last week she is stepping down after two years.

Christopher Mason speaks to reporters at his promotion announcement, Nov. 13, 2019. (WBZ-TV)

Gilpin, a 25-year veteran of the department, will retire on Friday, November 15.  Mason will be sworn in as Superintendent and Colonel then.

Gilpin released a statement saying Mason is the “right person” to lead the department.

“Anyone who has worked with Chris during his career can attest to his intelligence, insight, and creative approach to meeting and surmounting challenges, as well as to his deep commitment to this agency,” she said. “I have full confidence that he will continue the progress we made over the last two years.”

Mason will lead the 2,200-member force at a time when it has been rocked by waves of corruption, mismanagement and misconduct scandals — including a yearslong overtime abuse scheme.

He said his priorities include relying less on what he described as “paramilitary” policing tactics, expanding diversity among the state police ranks, and increasing mandatory ethics training focusing on time and attendance issues.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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