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Acting Brookline police chief sworn in as permanent chief

Jennifer M. Paster was sworn in Wednesday by Brookline Town Clerk Ben Kaufman.Brookline Police Department

Jennifer M. Paster was sworn in as Brookline’s chief of police Wednesday morning, officially settling into the role that she had already taken over for nearly a year, in all but name.

Paster, who has worked at the Brookline Police Department for 23 years, was sworn into her new role during a ceremony at the Brookline Public Library’s Hunneman Hall, the town said in a statement.

“It is truly an honor for me to step into the role of Chief,” Paster said in the statement. “I am grateful for the overwhelming support from my department and the Brookline community.”

Paster has served as acting chief since last summer, when the former chief, Ashley Gonzalez, was fired due to sexual harassment allegations by female employees. At the time, Paster was the department’s deputy superintendent


As acting chief, Paster oversaw all levels of the department and overseeing command staff, the statement said, and worked with town officials, community agencies, and residents to address public safety issues.

Paster holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Union College and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Western New England College, the statement said. Currently, she is working toward a master’s degree in social work from Boston College.

In 2000, Paster joined Brookline police as a patrol officer, the statement said. She became an intelligence investigator in the detective division in 2005, the statement said, serving as the department’s liaison to other agencies including Boston Regional Intelligence Center and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, among others.

Then, Paster was promoted to patrol sergeant, and later, administrative sergeant, the statement said.

In 2017, she became a lieutenant, the statement said. During her time in this role, she taught crisis intervention team courses for officers in greater Boston, the statement said, and also served as assistant court prosecutor for the Brookline District Court. She served as deputy superintendent in 2021.


“Chief Paster has been a stalwart member of the Brookline Police Department for over two decades, and has had a hand in nearly all of the agency’s work on behalf of our community during that time,” Town Administrator Chas Carey said in the statement. “She’s a proven leader who has built strong relationships with countless stakeholders, and I am confident that she is the ideal person to serve as Brookline’s chief of police.”

Paster is a member of organizations including the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Women Thriving Inc., and the Police Executive Research Forum, the statement said. She is also a member of the Brookline Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a board member of the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement.

Claire Law can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @claire_law_.