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Statement of Colonel Mawn and Background Regarding Investigation into Commercial Driver Licensing Unit

“The Massachusetts State Police demand and expect all members to conduct themselves with integrity, honesty, and in accordance with all federal and state laws and Department policies, rules, and regulations. The Department condemns the actions of the four current and former CDL Unit members as alleged in the federal indictment and our internal affairs investigation. The alleged misconduct of those defendants is the antithesis of and in stark contrast to the values, character, and integrity exhibited by the overwhelming majority of our Troopers every day in service to the public.”

- Colonel John Mawn Jr., Interim Superintendent

Background Information

At the end of 2022, the Massachusetts State Police became aware of a federal investigation into members of the Commercial Driver Licensing Unit for alleged violations of the law and Department policy related to testing procedures. At that time, the Department immediately launched an inquiry into the unit, fully cooperated with federal authorities, and initiated an internal audit of the unit’s operations and procedures.

While the Department was unaware of the exact nature of the federal investigation, a thorough internal investigation determined that four CDL unit members - who are required to obtain commercial licenses - received unsanctioned condensed training in commercial vehicle operation and received CDL licenses outside of the comprehensive testing process in violation of the law and agency.

The Department investigation also discovered that several CDL test applicants received passing scores from two former unit members although no test was proctored. The Department’s Office of Professional Integrity and Accountability’s (OPIA) investigation into those matters remains ongoing.

In February of 2023 the Department transferred Sgt. Gary Cederquist, and other unit members to different assignments. Cederquist was eventually suspended during the investigation and remains so.

In assistance to the federal investigation that resulted in the arrests, the State Police has provided federal prosecutors with records and information related to the unit and its members in response to more than 15 subpoenas or other requests for information received by the Department since the Fall of 2022. Department members have also regularly communicated with the United States Attorney’s Office and the Registry of Motor Vehicles to share information. The Department’s Office of Chief Legal Counsel has worked closely with prosecutors assigned to this matter since the Fall of 2022 and the Department will continue that cooperation as this matter works through the judicial process.

The Department’s audit of the CDL Unit’s operations and procedures identified multiple processes requiring modernization, greater internal controls, and increased accountability.

The State Police, beginning in early 2023, have implemented numerous reforms to the CDL Unit that have significantly improved efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability.

Steps taken include the following.

• Required use of body-worn cameras for all CDL exams.

• Increased frequency of unannounced visits by unit supervisors to examiners at training sites.

• Modernized unit record-keeping with required electronic documentation and the use of the Department’s online case management system, allowing for enhanced accountability, accuracy, and supervision.

• Added two new sergeants to unit with prior experience, who have instituted operational changes that increased efficiency and supervision.

• Created a new position responsible for supervising and coordinating all aspects of CDL Unit training, including scheduling, curriculum, procedures, vehicle acquisition and maintenance, and record keeping.

• Developed new training procedures that establish acceptable time frames for training, standards for instructors, and accountability standards for students and instructors.

• Developed a new curriculum that establishes learning benchmarks for each day and each phase of training.

• Modified existing monthly in-service training and ongoing development of new annual in-service training for CDL Unit examiners.

• Added new Troopers to the unit and reassigned staff to high demand training sites, resulting in improved service to the public, significantly reduced scheduling wait times for test takers, and increased oversight over these sites.

The Massachusetts State Police Commercial Driver Licensing (CDL) Unit conducts skills testing for CDL applicants in coordination with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The unit is also responsible for training and certifying MSP members whose assignments require a CDL license.


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