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Division of State Police Oversight 2019 Annual Report: Background

In 2019, the Division of State Police Oversight undertook a variety of reviews and investigations to fulfill its statutory mandate to monitor the quality, efficiency and integrity of the operations of the Massachusetts State Police ("MSP").

Table of Contents

I. The Office of the Inspector General

The Office of the Inspector General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (“Office”) is an independent agency charged with preventing and detecting fraud, waste and abuse in the use of public funds and public property. The Legislature created the Office in 1981 at the recommendation of the Special Commission on State and County Buildings, a legislative commission that spent two years probing corruption in the construction of public buildings in Massachusetts. It was the first state inspector general’s office in the country.

In keeping with its broad statutory mandate, the Office:

  • investigates allegations of fraud, waste and abuse at all levels of government;
  • reviews programs and practices in state and local agencies to identify system-wide vulnerabilities and opportunities for improvement;
  • and assists the public and private sectors to help prevent fraud, waste and abuse in government spending.

In addition, the Office provides guidance to local government officials on issues that arise under the Uniform Procurement Act, M.G.L. c. 30B, which governs the purchase and disposition of supplies, services, equipment and real property by municipalities and other public entities. The Office also educates public and private employees through its Massachusetts Certified Public Purchasing Official (“MCPPO”) training program.

II. The Division of State Police Oversight

Established in July 2018, the Division of State Police Oversight (“Division”) is responsible for monitoring the quality, efficiency and integrity of the MSP operations, organizational structure and management functions. See M.G.L. c. 22C, § 72(c).

Additionally, the Legislature charged the Division with monitoring policy changes instituted as a result of the MSP’s certification or accreditation by a state or national police accrediting agency. The Division also seeks to prevent, detect and correct fraud, waste and abuse in the expenditure of public funds at all levels of the MSP, including expenditures by the MSP for “paid details and overtime.” See M.G.L. c. 22C, § 73(c).

III. The Massachusetts State Police

Founded in 1865, the MSP is the oldest statewide law enforcement agency in the nation. It provides full-service policing, with more than 2,000 sworn officers, as well as several hundred civilian staff. Its jurisdiction spans across the state’s 351 cities and towns and extends 12 nautical miles off the Commonwealth coastline. The MSP serves a population of approximately 6.9 million people and is responsible for criminal law enforcement and traffic safety across the Commonwealth. In addition, the MSP provides forensic services, protects Logan International Airport and other Massport properties, and provides basic policing services to small towns.

The MSP is led and managed by the Office of the Superintendent and is organized into five divisions that provide a variety of public safety and administrative services:

  • The Division of Field Services oversees highway safety, assists municipal law enforcement agencies by responding to public safety emergencies or incidents, and provides other patrol resources and special operations;
  • The Division of Investigative Services conducts criminal investigations, including homicide investigations, in cooperation with the Commonwealth’s district attorney’s offices, and provides forensic services through its state crime laboratory system;
  • The Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness is responsible for the Commonwealth’s readiness and response to a variety of large-scale criminal threats, including terrorist activity;
  • The Division of Standards and Training operates the State Police Academy, oversees training and education across all of the MSP’s divisions, and conducts internal investigations and inspections; and
  • The Division of Administrative Services provides internal administrative support to the MSP.
Date published: February 26, 2020
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