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Read the letter from the State Police chief retiring amid controversy

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff/File 2017

Colonel Richard McKeon.

By Globe Staff  

COLONEL. RICHARD D. MCKEON

November 10, 2017

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Secretary Daniel Bennett

Executive Office of Public Safety and Security

1 Ashburton Place, Suite 2133 Boston, MA 02108

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As you are now aware, there has been increasing media and public controversy over how my office handled the processing of a woman in Worcester County after a Trooper arrested her on charges stemming from erratic behavior and potential threat to others in her operation of a motor vehicle.

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Leaving aside the details of the incident which you now know, my decision to instruct subordinates to focus the arrest report on information relevant to the charges made against this individual without compromising the strength of the case is instruction that I have given to the men and women under my command more times than I can remember. This case is not unlike the thousands of cases we are involved in every year involving drug addiction. In every case, department members have been trained to exercise their power and authority judiciously and to treat offenders with courtesy and respect. Our job is to enforce the law, bring charges consistent with the facts and present the case to the court in an orderly and honest manner.

As State Police Superintendent for more than two years, I hope that part of what I have accomplished is to convey to our Troopers an understanding that what they do during the discharge of their duties reflects directly on the reputation of the Massachusetts State Police and on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

On a personal note, I speak not just as a 35 year veteran of the Massachusetts State Police but also as the father of three sons. I have not experienced the pain that thousands of parents in Massachusetts have suffered as a result of losing their children to opioid addiction and can only imagine the pain they have endured. In our law enforcement role, our first duty is to enforce the law and protect the public, but that doesn’t preclude us from being empathetic toward those in need.

I want to thank you and the Governor for your support during my tenure as Superintendent and for your support of the campaign that we are all engaged in to halt the rampant abuse of opioids and the heartbreaking strain that it puts on thousands of families in Massachusetts.

With respect, I have decided to retire from the Massachusetts State Police in my capacity as the Superintendent. It has been an honor to serve the Commonwealth.

Sincerely, Richard D. McKeon

Colonel/Superintendent Massachusetts State Police