State Police members investigated for alleged abuse of overtime hours

Cornelia Mascio
Marzo 21, 2018

State Police have also reported their findings to Attorney General Maura Healey's office, Gilpin said.

The overtime shifts involve "accident and injury reduction patrols" (AIR Patrols), which have since been discontinued, Gilpin said.

Gilpin said one other trooper is part of the probe.

Massachusetts State Police say they have launched an investigation into 21 department members for discrepancies between overtime hours paid and actual hours worked.

Col. Gilpin said Troopers could face suspension without pay based on the results of the hearings and criminal charges may be warranted if MSP rules were violated.

Gilpin also said that the department is expanding the audit to further examine all overtime traffic enforcement shifts worked by personnel in all troops. Individual troopers allegedly missed a number of shifts, ranging from one to 100.

"We hope that working with the Massachusetts Department of State Police administration will ensure that everyone involved is held accountable", Dana Pullman, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, said.

When this issue first came to light a year ago, the Department eliminated the AIRE patrols.

"It is important to note that past year when this issue first came to light we eliminated the AIRE patrols", Gilpin said.

The alleged overtime abuse began long before Gilpin was appointed commander in November.

"Integrity, honesty, and accountability are core values of the Massachusetts State Police", Gilpin said "Those are values that I, as Colonel, expect and demand, that Governor Baker and Secretary Bennett demand, and that the hard-working men and women of this Department - the overwhelming majority of our people - expect and demand of their peers".

The discrepancies were discovered in overtime payments made to troopers assigned to special enforcement shifts on the Massachusetts Turnpike known as Accident Incidence Reduction Effort - or AIRE - patrols, created to crack down on unsafe driving.

In the meantime, state police have eliminated the patrols and have implemented measures to increase accountability and oversight of remaining overtime shifts. One of the troopers retired before the audit was complete and another is already suspended without pay for an unrelated and ongoing investigation.

"For us to fulfill our mission as a police agency, we must have public trust", Gilpin said.

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