Gov. Charlie Baker and the head of the state police have announced changes in "policies and procedures" after the agency was rocked by an overtime scandal and other recent disclosures.
Baker was joined Mass. State Police Supt. Col. Kerry Gilpin and other officials for the announcement at a Statehouse news conference on Monday.
An internal audit last month uncovered cases in which troopers may have been paid overtime for shifts never worked in 2016. Nine troopers have since retired and nine others are suspended without pay.
As a result of that audit, Gilpin announced that the department will be eliminating Troop E as a stand-alone section, which covered the Mass. Pike from the New York border to Boston. Those troopers and barracks, according to Gilpin, will be absorbed into existing regional troops in which those barracks sit.
"This reorganization will increase the personnel size of Troops H, C, and B, which will have the result of increasing the available number of field supervisors and more patrols able to respond to the turnpike in an emergency," Gilpin noted.
In addition, Gilpin said that automatic vehicle locators will be activated on all cruisers. She noted that that is being done to help with officer safety, track vehicle locations, and help commanders better deploy resources in critical situations
A body camera program will also be launched. Gilpin noted that a policy for such cameras still needs to be solidified by members of the department and union leadership.
Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey has launched a criminal investigation and has called on the Republican governor to show more leadership on issues plaguing the state police.
Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.
Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. All rights reserved.