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A lot of people are buzzing about Charlie “Tall Deval” Baker’s “reforms” in the Massachusetts State Police, as a direct result of the stories we broke about Alli Bibaud, Leigha Genduso, and fraudulent overtime scandals. But don’t be fooled – it means absolutely nothing, punishes innocent state troopers who are already following the rules, and does nothing to fix the systematic problems that led us to these problems in the first place.
Masslive: Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday plans to eliminate Troop E, which primarily manages patrols along the Massachusetts Turnpike. Baker said the duties for policing the Pike would be turned over to other troops along the Mass. Pike’s route. The announcement came amid a series of reforms to the Massachusetts State Police, following a series of scandals, particularly the discovery that troopers in Troop E had been allegedly paid for overtime shifts they didn’t work. Additional planned reforms include a review of Troop F staffing, developing a body camera program for troopers and activating GPS technology in police cruisers that will allow the agency to locate troopers.
“I believe these reforms will improve the entire department, top to bottom,” Massachusetts State Police Col. Kerry A. Gilpin said.
Members of Troop E will be absorbed into other units in the department, Gilpin said Monday.
“The Massachusetts State Police has a long and honorable history. The men and women who’ve worked there for generations earned that honor,” Baker said, in prepared remarks. “That history, that reputation, has been tarnished.”
Baker and Gilpin said both internal and external investigations are ongoing. If either investigation determines they are guilty of these allegations, they should lose their pensions, Baker said. Baker and Gilpin also announced the creation of 10 new positions – six staff inspection positions and four internal affairs positions.
“Within the next 30 days we will also be conducing a study of the number of overtimes shifts in each barracks,” Gilpin said.
Additionally, the proposed reforms include several implementations of technology. On GPS, Baker said Monday he has ordered State Police turn on vehicle locators in every cruiser’s laptop. Gilpin said the department will also begin discussions of equipping troopers with body cameras. Baker said ideally he would like the program implemented by the end of the calendar year.
Why is anyone applauding this meaningless gesture? Here’s a review of what’s changing:
- The Troop E barracks is closing. Troopers working there will work in new locations on the Mass Pike.
- The buildings aren’t going to remain dormant, and the state will find some use for it, so it’s not like it saves the taxpayers any money.
- Ten new political hack positions were created, which will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars a year in salary and benefits.
- Body cameras might be implemented.
- Troopers have to turn their GPS on while driving so they can be easily tracked.
Although it’s nice that they’re concerned about the overtime scandals (that’s definitely important) the much bigger deal is how an admitted drug dealing, money laundering, perjurer who the state police themselves investigated, became a Massachusetts State Trooper. Until that question is investigated and anyone who had anything to do with her rise to power is fired, they haven’t fixed dick.
Of course that would actually require Charlie Baker publicly speaking out about it. It’s been a month and a half now. He has not mentioned it once, and the useless reporters who go to these press conferences have not asked him about it. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito blatantly lied about being friends with fellow Shrewsbury resident Leigha Genduso, even though photographic evidence proves otherwise:
Money comes and goes. The state can always get more money. But public trust is invaluable. And the fact that a group of state troopers CONSPIRED to get a drug dealer into the MSP makes it impossible to trust the higher ups in the MSP.
Meanwhile the ones who are being punished here are the thousands of state troopers who do the job they’re supposed to do every day. The ones who are not gaming the system. They’re being treated like children, despite doing nothing wrong.
And what the hell do body cameras have to do with ANYTHING???!!! What problem is this solving exactly? Is there an epidemic of alleged police brutality by the MSP? Nope. When was that bargained into the contract? The scandals with the MSP involve the politically connected troopers who got the plum gig at Logan Airport and high ranking troopers who made sure a drug dealer got into the MSP, not the rank and file.
This is basically what they tried doing to troopers Sceviour and Rei of the Holden barracks. Those two troopers did their job. They arrested a woman who could’ve killed someone and tried to trade sexual favors for leniency. They bravely resisted orders from much higher paid commanders to commit fraud and alter a report, and for that they were punished. Same shit is happening all over again. Troopers doing their job are essentially being punished.
The body cams are just useless Charlie Baker being useless. Something he’s very good at. He’s throwing the taxpayers a bone and creating the illusion that he’s some sort of reformer. He’s not. Here’s what he would do if he was interested in actual reform:
- Fully investigate Secretary of Public Safety Dan Bennett for his involvement in Biblowgate. Tall Deval exonerated him within minutes of us blowing that story up, despite not investigating him at all. We have a right to know if he was involved in that. His cell phone records and emails should be thoroughly looked through, including any private lines. If he has a problem with that he’s free to resign and find another job that pays $200,000 a year to be useless.
- Suspend Dan Bennett with pay until the investigation is completed. He’s been implicated in the lawsuit on behalf of the two troopers. Until his name is cleared the public cannot trust him.
- Any trooper who fleeced the taxpayer for more than $250 in overtime must be charged with larceny over $250 just like a civilian would who stole from their employer.
- Publicly acknowledge how troubling it is that a drug dealer somehow became a state trooper.
- Fully investigate every single person who had anything to do with Leigha Genduso getting hired. Anyone who wrote her a letter of recommendation, voted to get her onto the force, failed to ask her about her previous activities, or treated her differently from any other candidate should immediately lose their job. They are unfit to be state troopers.
- Deny pensions to Colonel McKeon and all of the other cowards who have “retired” in disgrace as a result of their corruption. With the amount of money they’ve accumulated over the years they don’t need a pension anyway.
- Fully investigate former Colonel Marian McGovern’s alleged fraud to the pension board. She received a tax free pension that saves her $25,000 a year because she allegedly had a heart condition. Yet pictures from her Facebook page (which she took down after we published this blog) shows her doing strenuous Crossfit-like activity.
- Change the law that requires that State Police disabilities be reviewed by the state commissioner of public health, state surgeon, and State Police superintendent, and instead that state troopers pensions are reviewed by a panel of three independent doctors like everyone else. You want to prove troopers will be treated like everyone else? Then start treating them like everyone else.
Or just make the good cops wear body cameras. What a sackless toolbag Charlie Baker is. I would rightfully expect Dana Pullman and the union to fight this un-negotiated mandate. Contracts are a result of collective bargaining. In order to force cops to wear body cameras they have to get something in return. Charlie Baker does’t have the right to unilaterally interfere with a negotiated contract.
Unfortunately the Internet is taking its frustration out on all state troopers and their union. This was not our intention when exposing these blogs, and these yahoos are missing the point. I still trust the MSP when I see them around town or on the highway. They’re the good guys here. Their bosses, Charlie Baker, Dan Bennett, Karyn Polito, Joe Early and a bunch of others are the bad guys.