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Published: December 22, 2017 | Categories: Alumni

New State Police Superintendent Kerry Gilpin ’99: Dedication Personified


Col. Kerry Gilpin ’99, who was appointed Massachusetts State Police superintendent by Gov. Charlie Baker on November 15, credits her college education with giving her the tools she needed to be an effective law enforcement agent.

“The level of education I received at Western New England was outstanding,” said Col. Gilpin. “The knowledge I gained there helped prepare me for my advancement throughout my career. My education provided a foundation of knowledge that has proved vital to my ongoing development as a police supervisor and, now, commander of the great men and women who constitute the Massachusetts State Police.”

Col. Gilpin joined the State Police in 1994 and then earned her bachelor of science degree in Law Enforcement at Western New England in 1999, attending classes at the University’s former satellite campuses in Boston and Cape Cod.

She recently served as the State Police deputy division commander of the Division of Standards and Training, which oversees internal affairs and the State Police Training Academy. Col. Gilpin spent 12 years working in the State Police Crime Services Section and has also worked in the Division of Field Services, the Staff Inspections section, and the Harassment Investigation Unit.

From December 2016 to June of this year Col. Gilpin attended a National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, where she worked with a team focused on reducing opioid deaths.

Col. Gilpin, a resident of Hampden, MA, said she is “honored to lead this great organization” and looks forward to working with the State Police’s local and federal partners. “Whether working to protect public safety from internal threats such as the terrible scourge of opioids or from those seeking to attack us from outside our borders, the role of the Massachusetts State Police has never been more important than it is today,” she said.

She recently announced an upgrade to the Massachusetts State Police’s statewide radio system. It will be converted to a digital system, which will enhance communications capabilities both among State Police personnel and units and between State Police and other agencies.

The native of Kingston, MA chose to go into law enforcement in part because of the murder of her 15-year-old sister Tracy in 1986. The case is still unsolved and her search for justice is said to have inspired her career decision.

Col. Gilpin made the news last year when she and her family announced a $10,000 reward to anyone with information on the murder. Last April, in a Boston Globe story, she revealed that her family had upped the reward to $25,000. Tracy vanished on October 1, 1986 after a party in Kingston. Her bludgeoned body was found 21 days later in the Myles Standish State Forest in Plymouth, MA—10 miles from her family’s home. Col. Gilpin was 16 at the time.

“Col. Gilpin became a trooper for the right reasons— because she wanted to help victims of crime and has showed leadership in each position she has been asked to take on in the State Police,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Security Daniel Bennett. “I am confident that she will be a great colonel because of the tremendous dedication she has shown over the course of her career.”

She was appointed superintendent after her predecessor and his deputy superintendent retired abruptly during a scandal over an altered police report of a judge’s daughter’s DUI arrest. Col. Gilpin has referred the departmental investigation into the revised arrest report to an outside independent counsel: former Essex County District Attorney Kevin Burke.

“Col. Gilpin brings decades of experience and knowledge to her post, with a deep understanding of the state police force at every level,” said Gov. Baker. “I thank Col. Gilpin for her dedication and willingness to serve the Commonwealth in this important position.”