State police his friend Col. Kerry Gilpin:
I was about to write a column supporting the State Police, because they are taking a lot of heat recently and I feel bad for all the good men and women who put their lives on the line every day. But then Andrew Patterson's case was finally published.
All law enforcement agencies have problems, and everything that does wrong does not deserve a headline, but there is an attractive end to exposure at a concert with the children around “don't do this if you're in your copy”.
A cop is a cop 24/7, and criminals are drunk as guilty as sober criminals. To make matters worse, Patterson has been accused of flashing his parts and his party upsetting his badge, making it clear to everyone that they believed they could do what they wanted as a state troop, and escape from him.
Why, under your leadership, do two troops believe it is ok to be drunk in public, to fight with lewd behavior and brawl with civilians?
You took control after a scandal, with a mandate to demand ethical discipline and behavior. When the overtime scandal broke, you should work overtime to convey the message that it is unacceptable for duty, after swearing oaths to uphold the law, to overcome it.
Since your possession in 2017, one person has been drawn in court as a defendant in a row. It doesn't look like it. Gov. Charlie Baker tells us that you have all walking copies we need to see that you are doing your job. But this is not enough. Nor is it for the public, and not like, for your troops either.
What is your leadership style? Because you refused to speak publicly several times, we do not know. If you were to talk openly about how these problems started, and what steps you took, then the citizens who serve your troops could have more confidence in them.
Now one of your troops is accused of sexual crime. It was four months before the public learned about these allegations – which is strong enough that it was on holiday all the time – and then it was just a top of news, and closed reporters turning down a closed door, not an official Notice.
We have the right to know what you are doing to ensure that the troops are aware of their responsibilities.
The guns are not the badges that your troops carry. They belong to us. The Massachusetts people cared for your users. Your step is not yours, though you earned it. It is what you have brought through our elected governor. The leadership of these troops is entrusted to you, Colonel. And we want to know how you are applying that authority.
Wendy Murphy is a former prosecutor and victim rights advocate.