Marine Unit patch "Over 115 years of dedicated marine enforcement"

Marine Unit Early 1900s

The first state patrol vessel, the steamer "Lexington", was built in 1898 and assigned to enforce fishing laws off Cape Cod. A second shallow water vessel named "Lotus" soon completed the fleet. In 1924 the patrol vessel "Protector" was launched and Boston was her home port.

Boston remains as the current base-of-operations for the State Police Marine Unit. The current facility was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is attached to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (D.C.R.) flood control plant for the Charles River. The design incorporates a three story indoor heated boat bay and complete fuel and maintenance facility.

The log of the old patrol vessel "Protector" lists a variety of patrol functions - ranging from inspectional boardings, criminal investigations, environmental protection, regular ice breaking in the Charles River basin and marine security during the visit of the "H.M.S. Scarborough". These duties embody much of the current responsibilities of the State Police Marine Unit.


Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement

The Marine Unit has a primary patrol responsibility for the Charles and Mystic rivers as well as the DCR Harbor Islands National Park. The State Police Marine Unit’s jurisdiction also includes Logan International Airport, serving as the primary law enforcement agency for Logan’s seaward security.  Members of the unit enforce the Department of Homeland Security 500 foot security zone surrounding the airport on a daily basis.  The Marine Unit also has a responsibility to patrol the Massport properties in the Boston Inner Harbor which include the Boston Seaport District, Black Falcon Cruise Ship Terminal, Conley Shipping Terminal, Boston’s Fish Pier and the World Trade Center.   The Unit has a close and ongoing relationship with federal agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Secret Service, F.B.I., D.E.A., U.S. Customs & Border Protection, and U.S. Marshals. The State Police maintain a variety of vessels on trailers which can be transported across the state. This mobility enables the state to target areas experiencing particular enforcement problems and to respond to increased public safety concerns generated by occasional harbor festivals and fireworks displays.


Search & Rescue

Search and Rescue

The Marine Unit works with the Coast Guard and other maritime partners in the Eastern Massachusetts area of responsibility by maintaining constant vigilance during patrols and continuously monitoring the Coast Guard distress channel to assist endangered boaters.  The Unit maintains a ready state as a responder to Logan International Airport's Emergency-Disaster Plan. The Unit’s resources often provide logistical support and serve as diving platforms to the State Police Underwater Recovery Team which is comprised of troopers stationed across the state, as well as several who are stationed at the Marine Unit.

Maritime Security


The Marine Unit regularly provides security for the U.S.S. Constitution, visiting cruise ships, naval vessels and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tankers. Troopers from the Marine Unit are also assigned to the presidential and executive-diplomatic security details which span across the state from Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket to Boston.  The State Police also provide security for a wide variety of events in the area of Boston Harbor and the Charles River, most importantly providing security for the Esplanade 4th of July Celebration as well as the Head of the Charles Regatta.




The Marine Unit maintains a variety of specialized vessels and support equipment which are ready to deploy as needed - whether the response be a law enforcement action or search and rescue effort.

  • 20' teflon-hull airboat for ice and swamp conditions
  • 13' to 25'; center console Boston Whalers
  • 27’to 31' Defender Class; SAFE (Secure All-around Flotation Equipped) Boat vessels
  • 37’ and 44' Catamaran diesel / water jet propulsion Moose Boats
  • Several 41'  Coast Guard Utility Boats
  • Kawasaki jet skis




The troopers and officers are assigned to the Marine Unit come from a wide variety of backgrounds with various patrol and investigative experience.  Upon arrival at the Marine Unit, all members partake in a two week indoctrination to maritime operations and area familiarization training.   All members assigned to the Marine Unit have either obtained or are in the process of obtaining their US Coast Guard Captain’s License.  Members also receive training in Maritime Boating Laws and Tactical Boating Operations.  Members have participated in numerous multi-jurisdictional training operations including Operation Urban Shield and The National Association of State boating Law Administrators Tactical Operations Course.  These training missions with federal and local law enforcement partners allows the Marine Unit to maintain interoperability between specialty units including boat operators, canine handlers, SWAT units, and Aerial assets. 

For further information contact the State Police Marine Unit at (617) 740-7820.