September 24, 2018–Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin today announced updates to reforms being implemented by the Department to increase oversight and restore public trust in the State Police, including signing a contract with Ernst & Young to perform an audit and assessment of Department policies. Colonel Gilpin also announced a 29 percent reduction in the projected use of overtime by Troop F for August 2018.
In April, the Baker-Polito Administration and Colonel Gilpin announced a series of reforms at the State Police, including eliminating Troop E; activating GPS technology in cruisers; assigning new troopers to Troop F, which patrols the state’s airports and seaport; and hiring an independent auditing firm to assess the Department’s administrative procedures. Over the past several months, the Baker-Polito Administration and Colonel Gilpin have made progress to implement several of these reforms.
“Colonel Gilpin and her team are continuing to make progress to implement significant changes to increase accountability and transparency at the State Police,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “While the vast majority of state police troopers serve the Commonwealth honorably each day, we know there is more work to do in strengthening policies and procedures to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly by the Department.”
“Our administration proudly stands with Colonel Gilpin as she puts into place serious reforms at the State Police,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “These changes will make the Department more efficient and accountable, helping to restore public trust.”
“We are substantively increasing the operational and fiscal oversight of this agency to increase efficiency and accountability to the public,” Colonel Gilpin said. “At the same time, the more than 2,000 troopers who embody the values and character we demand of our personnel continue to fulfill their important mission to protect the safety of our citizens.”
The State Police has engaged the professional services and consultancy firm Ernst & Young to perform an audit and assessment of the Department’s policies, protocols, internal controls and record management systems. Among the areas that will be assessed are the Department’s systems for managing and monitoring all types of pay, including regular, overtime, and detail earnings, as well as for employee leave and other forms of compensation and benefits. In its review, Ernst & Young will evaluate the Department’s existing internal controls and recommend measures to bring the Department’s systems and policies into line with best practices in similar organizations. The Department will use the firm’s recommendations to institute stronger operational controls across the Department.
In May, the State Police completed a study on staffing levels at Troop F, which concluded that the deployment of 30 additional sworn members would allow the Troop to continue to meet the unique national security needs of Logan Airport and other Massport properties while substantially reducing reliance on overtime. The staffing increase added personnel to specific positions that, because of particular rank requirements or the need for specialized skills, have generated a disproportionate share of overtime hours in the past.
Today, Colonel Gilpin announced that actual Troop F overtime hours for August 2018 were 29 percent lower than were projected for that month in April, prior to the assignment of the new troopers. Colonel Gilpin and her team will continue to implement policies to limit the amount of overtime at Troop F.
The State Police have executed an updated Memorandum of Understanding with Massport to cover the provision of police services by Troop F. The new agreement updates contractual arrangements between the State Police and Massport to reflect changes since the 1979 agreement under which the parties had been operating. The new agreement also adds provisions to provide for improved budgeting and financial oversight for both parties.