Amid an ongoing reform to the Massachusetts State Police Department, Gov. Charlie Baker and Col. Christopher Mason announced Thursday a new bill that would improve accountability and discipline in the department.
Under the bill, swifter action will be taken against troopers who violate the public's trust and they will face more severe penalties. Officers charged with serious offenses will be suspended without pay and a simplified disciplinary process will be implemented for troopers facing minor charges.
Routine audits will also be conducted for the top 50 earners in the department to ensure public dollars are spent appropriately. The department is also aiming to increase diversity and plans to do so by hiring a broader workforce.
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The changes come a few years after several troopers were involved in an overtime theft scandal that rocked the department.
Mason, who took on the role as colonel and superintendent of the department just last year, was tasked with completing the investigation into the scheme and creating a body camera program. Just this week, the state police union agreed to adopt GPS technology into cruisers.
“Making the state police more diverse, increasing accountability and rebuilding public trust, the colonel clearly has his work cut out for him, but his team is making significant progress under this agenda,” Baker said.