“Zero faith” within the Massachusetts State Police has critics calling for an overhaul of the embattled company — and even a pressured receivership.
The fury comes after yet one more scandal that had troopers paraded into federal court docket in Boston this previous week on bribery costs linked to coveted business driver’s licenses.
Statements from the MSP brass and union shortly adopted, however the endless loop of additional time abuse, drunken driving and now bribery allegations are unacceptable, watchdogs say.
“The DOJ could look into all of this and put the State Police into receivership,” mentioned Dennis Galvin, president of the Massachusetts Association for Professional Law Enforcement (MAPLE). The Justice Department doesn’t touch upon any investigations.
“The worst part of all this is it’s undermining confidence in the law,” Galvin, a retired state police main, advised the Herald. “Our members are heartbroken over what’s happening.”
Galvin is looking on Gov. Maura Healey to “do something,” including that “If there is one organization that needs to be in receivership, it has to be this organization.”
The Pioneer Institute can be calling on Healey to clamp down on the State Police however falling wanting a receivership.
Mary Connaughton, Pioneer’s director of Government Transparency and chief working officer, mentioned the “tainted” troopers have taxpayers questioning what they’re paying for.
Last 12 months’s State Police payroll reveals 42 MSP members incomes $300,000 or extra — with three lieutenants in that group surpassing $400,000, a Herald payroll evaluation reveals.
The excessive pay, federal prosecutors say in a 74-count indictment, didn’t deter State Police officers and civilian staff of buying and selling favors in change for unearned business drivers licenses.
“It’s a shame that the many honest, hard-working state police officers are tainted by the actions of their corrupt co-workers,” mentioned Connaughton. “But right now, there is zero faith that the Massachusetts State Police as a whole are acting in the public’s best interest. How could there be with the drunken driving, the crime lab and crime report tampering, Troop E’s overtime gambit, Troop F’s payroll gaming, and the recent bribery scandal?”
Connaughton added: “That’s a long list of law enforcers turning lawbreakers. Fighting a culture of corruption and regaining the public trust will require a complete management overhaul, sustained oversight on ethics, and a major re-brand.”
The Healey administration mentioned they’ve already taken steps to wash up the State Police. That contains body-worn and cruiser digicam packages; GPS gadgets in “all” MSP autos; payroll audits; coaching packages; accreditation renewal for MSP Crime Laboratory; shifting an Inspector General’s Office unit inside MSP headquarters in Framingham; and mentorship packages.
Col. John Mawn Jr., the Interim Superintendent of the MSP, mentioned in a video assertion that the company calls for “all members to conduct themselves with integrity, honesty, and in accordance with all federal and state laws and Department policies, rules, and regulations.”
He added that it’s “disheartening” to the practically 3,000-member company to see their division within the headlines once more.
It’s additionally a blow to the troopers who refused to take the COVID vaccine in 2020 who’re nonetheless unemployed, however suing, after being fired.
Galvin mentioned a key concern nonetheless not addressed is the ability the State Police union has, particularly having sergeants allowed within the union as they oversee troopers who’re fellow members.
“The union has way too much power,” he mentioned. “It’s an investigation of power from the Legislature on down with no oversight.”
All this, he lamented, as they MSP “goes down the tubes.”
Go scan all MSP pay at bostonherald.com’s “Your Tax Dollars at Work” report.