In full transparency, the following is a press release.
FRAMINGHAM – The Healey-Driscoll Administration yesterday, February 10, announced the retirement of Colonel Christopher S. Mason, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, who concludes a nearly 40-year career in law enforcement.
After three decades as a member of the Massachusetts State Police and more than three years as Colonel-Superintendent, Mason’s retirement will take effect on Friday, February 17, 2023.
“Colonel-Superintendent Mason’s dedication to duty and selfless public service has earned the respect and trust of his department and the community around him,” said Governor Maura T. Healey. “His decades-long career in law enforcement exemplified core values of integrity, fairness, and dignity, and we are fortunate to have benefitted from his steady leadership in Massachusetts. I am grateful for his service to the state and wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement.”
“For nearly four decades, Colonel-Superintendent Mason has demonstrated a true commitment to protecting the public, while fostering supportive partnerships with local leaders across our 351 cities and towns,” said Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “As a former mayor, I recognize the importance of those strong working relationships in making our neighborhoods safer. We greatly appreciate Colonel Mason’s professionalism and dedication, and thank him for his service to our Commonwealth and the communities we call home.”
“As a colleague and a friend, I want to express my most heartfelt appreciation to Colonel Christopher Mason for his remarkable life of service and his exceptional leadership in unprecedented times,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence M. Reidy. “I also want to thank his wife, Lynne, and the entire Mason family for the sacrifices and support that has been required of them during his four decades of public service. For his significant impact on public safety over his long and distinguished career, the Commonwealth owes Colonel Mason a debt of gratitude.”
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, Governor Healey and Lt. Governor Driscoll, and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for placing their trust in me and providing the support and resources needed to promote public safety, implement meaningful reforms, and adopt transformative innovations that strengthen our ability to protect the Commonwealth and provide the highest level of professional policing to all Massachusetts residents and visitors,” said Colonel-Superintendent Mason. “I also want to thank the members of the Massachusetts State Police for your professionalism, dedication, and exceptional delivery of police services across the Commonwealth. It has been my true privilege to work alongside you.”
Under Colonel Mason’s leadership, the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Council awarded the State Police full accreditation. This achievement reflects the Department’s commitment to professionalism, best practices, and delivery of exceptional police services across the Commonwealth.
During Colonel Mason’s tenure, the Department advanced several major initiatives to enhance public safety, implement meaningful reforms, and adopt transformative innovations, including:
- Modernized training and implemented new policies to align with national best practices, public expectations, and legislative mandates, including: active bystandership (ABLE) training, de-escalation training, new use-of-force regulations, fair and impartial policing training, and promulgated the Department’s first-ever “duty to intervene” policy.
- Enhanced integrity and accountabilitywith the successful Department-wide integration of body-worn and cruiser-mounted cameras, automatic vehicle location across the fleet, time and attendance reporting platform upgrades. The Department also created a new Public Records Unit within the Legal Section to be more responsive to public records and discovery requests.
- Advanced recruitment efforts and welcomed the next generation of diverse public safety leaders, adding 601 new troopers and 47 members of the first-ever cadet class. These individuals completed a comprehensive and modernized training curriculum, speak more than 10 languages, and include more women and people of color than any previous recruiting initiative.
- Invested in capital upgrades to enhance operational capabilities in the Air Wing and Marine Units; re-established the status of the Department’s existing Special Tactical Operations Team as a full-time, dedicated unit specially trained in high-risk missions; established a state-of-the-art homeland security operations center at State Police General Headquarters; expanded and modernized the MSP’s narcotics storage bunkers; implemented a long-term evidence storage system based in Milford; and increased fleet capabilities with new command posts, an incident-scene rehab vehicle, as well as specialized vehicles for the Department’s Crisis Negotiation Unit and the Underwater Recovery Unit.
- Accomplished a 97% homicide clearance rate in 2022 and established a national-best 30-day turnaround for sexual assault evidence kit testing from the Department’s nationally accredited crime lab.
- Strengthened local, state, and federal partnerships to reduce firearm violence, prevent illegal drug distribution, enhance youth programming, and improve quality of life for communities across the Commonwealth, and instituted the Department’s first-ever Community Liaison Team.
The Healey-Driscoll Administration will soon announce next steps in regard to leadership at the Massachusetts State Police.
Mass State Police is headquartered in Framingham.
Following his undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts, Mason’s public service began in 1985 as a natural resource officer in the Town of Barnstable. Graduating from the State Police Academy in 1993 as a member of the 71st Recruit Training Troop, Mason began his career as a trooper eventually earning the rank of sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and commanding officer for the Cape and Islands State Police Detective Unit investigating homicides, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes.
Recognized as a promising leader within the Department, Mason was appointed to serval leadership positions. First, as deputy commander of the Division of Homeland Security and Preparedness, he acted as director of the Commonwealth Fusion Center and supervising the Cyber Crimes Unit, High Risk Victims Unit, Identification Section, Fraud Identification Unit, and Anti-Terrorism Unit. He then commanded the Division of Investigative Services overseeing all State Police detective units and forensic personnel. During this time, Mason also graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commanders Academy, the Naval Postgraduate School’s Fusion Center Leaders Program, and the master’s criminal justice degree program at Anna Maria College.
Each subsequent role within the Department prepared the then-lieutenant colonel and deputy superintendent to assume the role of Superintendent in 2019. During his tenure, Colonel-Superintendent Mason assumed an active role as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, serving as a speaker and panelist for many discussions of modern policing strategies and police reform.