New State Police head picks her second-in-command

Framingham, MA., 03/28/17, State Police Major Kerry Gilpin became a trooper in part because her sister, Tracy Gilpin, was murdered in October 1986. The teenager left a party to buy cigarettes and disappeared. Now, 31 years later, the case remains unsolved. But the Gilpin family is hoping to draw attention to it again, in hopes that someone will come forward with information. Globe staff/Suzanne Kreiter
Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff/File
Kerry A. Gilpin in March.

The new head of the Massachusetts State Police this week made her first appointments, including her second-in-command, since taking over the agency following a scandal over an altered police report that triggered an administrative shake-up.

Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin named Lt. Colonel Barry O’Brien as deputy superintendent on Tuesday, said State Police spokesman David Procopio in an e-mail. O’Brien succeeds Francis Hughes as the State Police’s No. 2, after Hughes retired earlier this month during the fallout over the handling of an arrest report about a judge’s daughter.

Hughes’s decision came days after Colonel Richard McKeon announced he would be retiring as superintendent.


McKeon had been criticized for ordering Trooper Ryan Sceviour to alter an October report he wrote after arresting Alli Bibaud in Worcester on charges of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Bibaud’s father is Timothy Bibaud, who serves as the first justice of Dudley District Court. Specifically, McKeon told Sceviour to excise Bibaud’s remarks about trading sex for leniency and comments about her father.

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Sceviour responded by suing top commanders of the State Police.

After McKeon’s retirement, Governor Charlie Baker picked Gilpin, a 47-year-old major and 23-year State Police veteran, to head the 2,200-person force. Gilpin has launched an investigation into whether McKeon acted properly when he ordered Bibaud’s arrest report to be revised.

O’Brien, Gilpin’s choice for deputy superintendent, most recently served as the commander for the State Police’s division of investigative services, previously was the commanding officer of Troop B, which covers Western Massachusetts, and also served a stint on the State Police detective unit in Hampden County.

Gilpin also promoted Christopher Mason to the rank of lieutenant colonel, and appointed him to be the commander of the division of investigative services, Procopio said.

Andrea Estes of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.