In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Governor’s office.
BOSTON – Today, March 13, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced an update on the search process to identify the next Massachusetts State Police Colonel. The Administration has formed a six-member search committee, composed of diverse public safety professionals and community leaders with wide-ranging expertise, to guide a robust process to identify the new executive and administrative leader of the State Police.
The Committee will guide the search process and partner with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the world’s largest and most influential professional association for police leaders with vast experience identifying prospective applicants for executive-level public safety roles.
Search Committee members include:
- Molly Baldwin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Roca
- Kevin Burke, Former Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety, former Essex County District Attorney
- Gayle Cameron, Former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, retired Lieutenant Colonel of the New Jersey State Police
- Mark Leahy, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, retired police chief (Suffield, CT and Northborough, MA)
- Liam Lowney, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA)
- Natashia Tidwell, Litigation Group Member at Mintz, former federal prosecutor and Cambridge police officer
“The next Massachusetts State Police Colonel has a unique opportunity to enhance public safety across Massachusetts, build public trust and advance meaningful reforms,” said Governor Maura Healey. “We are grateful to the remarkable members of the search committee for their service and commitment to identifying strong applicants with the vision and values to lead the State Police into the future.”
“The selection of the Department’s future leader reflects a pivotal moment and transformative opportunity for the State Police and Massachusetts. Our administration is committed to conducting a comprehensive search that is thorough and expeditious,” said Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll. “We look forward to engaging with the search committee and appreciate their dedication to identifying highly qualified and diverse candidates.”
By law, the Governor appoints the colonel based upon the recommendation of the Secretary of EOPSS. The governing statute, Massachusetts law G.L. c. 22C Section 3, requires that the colonel be qualified by training and experience to direct the Department’s work. At the time of appointment, the colonel must have 10 years of full-time experience as a sworn law enforcement officer and five years of full-time experience in a senior administrative or supervisory position in a police force or a military body with law enforcement responsibilities. Once appointed, the colonel will become a uniformed member of the MSP. The colonel will also require certification from the Massachusetts POST Commission.
On February 17, 2023, the Healey-Driscoll Administration appointed Lt. Colonel John Mawn to serve as Interim Colonel, succeeding Colonel Christopher Mason upon his retirement.
Search Committee member bios:
Molly Baldwin is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Roca. A graduate of UMass Amherst, Molly began her professional life as a youth worker and community organizer and soon founded Roca in 1988 for a small group of high-risk young people.
For 35 years, she has been a tireless advocate, mentor, and community convener, reaching out to the young people at the center of violence in Massachusetts’ most troubled urban communities, and bringing together the major institutions, agencies, and corporations affecting their lives. With the help of engaged institutions and Roca’s committed staff, Baldwin’s efforts at Roca have helped over 25,000 young people make positive and profound changes in their lives.
Under Baldwin’s leadership, Roca’s Intervention Model has become one of the nation’s most effective interventions for young adults at critical risk. Baldwin holds a master’s degree in Education from Lesley University and honorary Ph.D. degrees from Salem State University and Lesley University. She was a 2020 recipient of the prestigious Heinz Award in the Human Condition category.
Kevin Burke’s five decades of public service includes several roles in Massachusetts state and county government. Burke served from 2007 to 2010 as the Secretary of Public Safety in the Patrick-Murray Administration after concluding his 24-year tenure as the Essex County District Attorney. As a legislator, Burke represented the 4th Essex District from 1975 to 1979 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a law degree from Boston College.
Gayle Cameron is a former commissioner at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) and retired Lieutenant Colonel of the New Jersey State Police. Appointed in 2012 as one of the initial commissioners and reappointed in 2016, Cameron was instrumental in successfully building a new and sustainable public agency while simultaneously implementing a multifaceted expanding gaming law. Before becoming an MGC commissioner, Cameron served in New Jersey State Police (NJSP) for 28 years, beginning as a Road Duty Trooper in 1980 and rising through the ranks to Lieutenant Colonel, Deputy Superintendent, retiring in 2008 from NJSP’s second highest rank.
Cameron was appointed as a Commissioner to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). She was responsible for policy decisions around creating appropriate law enforcement standards. In this role, she worked to strengthen crime prevention, solidify interagency cooperation, and improve community confidence in the agency.
Cameron is a founding member and past president of New Jersey Woman in Law Enforcement (NJWLE) from 2004-2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Bridgewater State College and a Master’s Degree in Education from Seton Hall University.
Chief Mark K. Leahy, Ret. has served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association since 2016. He began his law enforcement career in 1976, when he was appointed as a Connecticut State Trooper, retiring in 1997 at the rank of Captain. He went on to serve as the Chief of Police in both Suffield, CT and Northborough, MA until his retirement from Northborough in 2016.
A Past President (2011) of the Mass. Chiefs, Chief Leahy sat on the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission – ultimately becoming its President – and on the Commonwealth’s Municipal Police Training Committee for eleven years. He sat on the Executive Board of the New England Association of Chiefs of Police; the Police Administration Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police; and on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission’s Public Safety Committee. He is currently the Chair of the Executive Director’s Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Liam Lowney is Executive Director of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA). He was appointed to this position in 2012 by the Victim and Witness Assistance Board. In this role, he leads the state agency’s administration of state and federal funding, training for service professionals, and policy efforts on behalf of crime victims.
In January 2007, he was appointed as the Chief of Victim and Witness Services by the Massachusetts Attorney General, overseeing the office’s services to crime victims and the Massachusetts Victim Compensation Program. Lowney began working in the field of Victim Services in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office in 1998 as a Victim Witness Advocate.
Throughout his career, Lowney has advocated for policy changes that impact crime victims, including gun safety legislation, updates to the victim compensation and assistance statute, and Massachusetts’ first Human Trafficking Law.
In 1994, Liam’s sister Shannon Lowney was murdered while working at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, MA. Since then, Liam has served as a survivor advocate and spokesman to addressing violence, responding to mass violence, training professionals and empowering survivors.
Natashia Tidwell is Litigation Group Member at Mintz, focusing on white collar defense and government investigations with a special emphasis on assisting educational institutions in identifying and managing internal and external challenges. She leverages her experience as a former federal prosecutor and police officer to provide pragmatic counsel to schools on federal and state constitutional issues and to advise individuals and institutions on government enforcement actions. Her clients include colleges, universities, secondary schools, cities and towns, hospitals, and other organizations.
In connection with the nationwide focus on social justice following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Tidwell led many investigations of alleged discriminatory conduct by schools, local police departments, corporations, and other organizations. As the lead monitor in Ferguson, Missouri, Tidwell is providing oversight on city police department and municipal court reforms stemming from a civil rights investigation by the US Department of Justice. In Newark, New Jersey, Tidwell serves as a subject matter consultant for the monitoring team instituting court-ordered reforms within the city’s police force.
Tidwell previously served as counsel at a global law firm and a Boston-based law firm and as an Associate Professor of New England Law | Boston. Before attending law school and while earning her JD, Tidwell worked as a police officer for the Cambridge Police Department in Massachusetts, where she rose through the ranks to become the department’s first female lieutenant.