Massachusetts State Police

From its inception in 1865 as a State Constabulary, The Massachusetts State Police has evolved into a modern full service law enforcement agency with a compliment of over 2300 officers.

Having the distinction of being the oldest state police organization in the United States, the Massachusetts State Police boast a rich history of service to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The actual beginning of the MSP as it is known by mandate today, began in 1921 and was called a "State Police Patrol". This force was comprised of 50 men who were stationed in barracks across the state with the primary mision to provide law enforcement to rural areas where service by local police departments was "undernourished". The MSP is an agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety.

By the 1930's, the MSP had increased its ranks to around 250 officers. November 4, 1933 saw the first glimpse of the benchmark French and Electric Blue uniforms when the 25th MSP Recruit Class graduated. Those same distinctive colors adorned the patrol vehicles of the MSP as they still do to this day!

The 1940's saw the MSP trying to maintain its mandate with fewer officers as many had enlisted for service in the military theaters of World War II. Up until 1971, Officers of the MSP worked 84 hour weeks in live-in barracks. The Governor of the day saw fit to abolish the live-in barracks system and lowered the MSP trooper's work week to 40 hours.

On July 1 1992, a new Department of State Police was dramatically increased to absorb the Metropolitan District Commission, the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Capitol Police. The MSP is comprised of the following Troop locations: Troop A (Northeast) Troop B (West) Troop C (Central) Troop D (Southeast) Troop E (Mass Turnpike) Troop F (Logan Airport) Troop H (Metro Boston)

Massachusetts State Flag

On a white field is a blue shield emblazoned
with the image of a Native American, Massachuset.
He holds a bow in one hand and an arrow in the other.
The arrow is pointing downward representing peace.
The white star represents Massachusetts as one of the original thirteen states.
Around the shield is a blue ribbon with the motto:
" By the Sword We Seek Peace, but Peace Only Under Liberty".
Above the shield is a arm and sword, representing the first part of the motto.
The Massachusetts State Police ran regular passenger vehicle license plates on their motor vehicles from it's inception until 1959.
There were no reserved number blocs for MSP use. Plates have traditionally been run front and back on all vehicles.

Circa 1940
Picture courtesy of Norman Rhoades

Circa 1953
Photo Courtesy of Massachusetts State Police

1945 passenger issue
Courtesy of the Hervey P.Cote collection
There is also a belief that on occasion, some MSP patrol vehicles had used "S" prefixed state vehicle license plates
(as they did with motorcycle plates), however, we have yet to see any documented or photographic evidence of usage on MSP patrol cars.

Plate courtesy of Sgt. Mike Crosby
Massachusetts State Police (Ret)
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An essay or "test" plate bearing the title "STATE (over) POLICE" was made in 1955, but no surviving specimen seems to exist.

The first known fleet-wide titled plates were issued in 1959 and used for two years. These plates were the standard 6" x 12" size and
were made of embossed steel. Painted white over maroon. Highest confirmed number: 127


Plate courtesy of Sgt. Mike Crosby
Massachusetts State Police
(Ret)

Trooper Robert Ryan circa 1960-
Provided courtesy of Mike Crosby

Massachusetts license plates were white over green in 1961, yet the one surviving specimen of a 1961 Massachusetts State Police license
plate appears to be white over black.

Plate courtesy of Sgt. Mike Crosby
Massachusetts State Police
(Ret)


Click picture for a larger image

1964 Massachusetts State Police license plates were the same format as the 1959 and 1961 versions, but were colored white over maroon.

1964 issue
Courtesy of the Hervey P.Cote collection

Photo Courtesy of Massachusetts State Police
Beginning in 1967, Massachusetts State Police were issued new license plates. They were blue over reflective white, had MASSACHUSETTS embossed across the top of the plate, STATE (over) POLICE embossed on the left side and an embossed number up to 3 digits. There was no wording along the lower portion of the plate. These plates were run on all marked MSP vehicles from January 1 1967 until December 31 1970. no surviving specimens of this type to have surfaced as of this writing. If you have one or know where one is, we would be grateful to add it's image to our archive.

Courtesy of the Hervey P.Cote collection

In 1967, the license plates used by the Massachusetts State Police took-on a more distinctive look. The plates were made of embossed aluminum and were colored white over reflective blue (turquoise). Just as the "mystery plate" of the same era, the state name was spelled out in full along the top and fitted neatly below the upper bolt-holes. The title STATE over POLICE was embossed on the left side next to the unit number and the word "OFFICIAL" was embossed along the bottom legend of the plate.

It was during this time that the numbers on MSP plates began to indicate the Troop area the car was assigned to.

Plates numbered 200-399 were for A Troop (HQ- Framingham), in the north eastern corner of the state. A-1 (Andover) A-2 (Topsfield) A-3 (Concord) A-4 (Foxboro) A-5 (Framingham Sub-Station) A-6 (No such assignment) A-7 (Lynnfield)

After the merger in 1992, A Troop was headquartered in Danvers. A-2 became Newbury (new facility built in the 1980's) A-3 remained in Concord A-4 became Medford (Previously an MDC facility) A-5 became Revere (previously an MDC facility) A-6 became the Danvers Sub-Station, and A-7 was no longer assigned.

Plates numbered 400-599 were for B Troop (HQ- Northampton), in the western part of the state. B-1 (Lee) B-2 (Shelburne Falls) B-3 (Springfield) B-4 (Cheshire- new facility in 1990's) B-5 (Russell) B-6 (Northampton Sub-Station)

After the merger in 1992, all stations for B Troop remained the same, however some new facilities replaced the older buildings in different towns. A new building in Springfield replaced the old Monson Barracks.

Plates numbered 600-799 were for C Troop (HQ-Holden) in the middle of the state C-1 (Athol) C-2 ( Millbury) C-3 (Brookfield) C-4 (Leominster) C-5 (Sturbridge) C-6 (Holden Sub-station) C-7 (Belchertown-Quabbin Reservoir) C-9 (Devens)

After the merger in 1992, Belchertown (& MDC facility) and Devens was established at the oold Fort Devens, and the Grafton barracks was turned over to the Museum Committee in 2008.

Plates numbered 800-999 were for D Troop (HQ- Middleboro), in the south east corner of the state, which included the Cape Cod area, and the islands of Nantucket & Martha's Vineyard. D-1 (Norwell) D-2 ( South Yarmouth) D-3 ( Dartmouth) D-4 (Middleboro Sub-Station) D-5 (Oak Bluffs) D-6 (Nantucket) D-7 (Bourne)

After the merger in 1992, all assignments remained the same, however Dartmouth received a new facility in 2008. Plates numbered up to 199 were primarily headquarters use. "H Troop" did not exist prior to the merger in 1992 and only came into existence when the State Police and MDC buildings and barracks realigned to become HHQ- South Boston MDC building H-1 (Government Center (State House/Capitol) H-2 (Framingham) H-3 (Foxboro) H-4 (Boston MDC) H-5 (Brighton MDC) H-6 (Boston Substation MDC) H-7 (Milton MDC)

The plates were revalidated every year. Windshield decals were used for 1968 and 1969, and plate decals were used for 1970, 1971, 1972 and 1973 with December expiry.


1967-1973 issue. Troop C Car 12

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1974 saw the introduction of a blue over reflective white plate for the MSP similar to the 1967 issue in format with the exception of the word "VEHICLE" along the bottom instead of "OFFICIAL". These plates were used until 1981, and also utilized December validation decals until around 1976. Since that time, MSP plates have been deemed "permanent" plates with no further requirement to validate by decal.

It was also with this issue that plates for the Massachusetts Turnpike (Troop E) used the letter E as a suffix on their plates

E-Troop (HQ-Boston)    E-1 (Weston)    E-2 (Charlton)    E-3 (Westfield)    E-4 (Ted Williams Tunnel-new station in 1993-94)

E-1 SP Weston    E-2 SP Charlton    E-3 SP Westfield    E-4 SP Ted Williams Tunnell (new station in 1993-94)

Plates with an F suffix were issued for Troop E at Boston's Logan Airport.

F-Troop (HQ Logan Airport) with sub-station F-1 in same building.

Plates with an A suffix were supposed to be issued for repair/service vehicles and D-suffixed plates were for other non-patrol type vehicles used by the agency. It has also been stated that R-suffixed plates were also used for "Repair" vehicles, but none have surfaced or been


1973 issue VEHICLE embossed along bottom. December validation decals were used until 1975 when someone finally realized how redundant and unnecessary it was to use-up validation stickers on tax exempt vehicles with permanent plates. Some validation stickers were removed (scratched-off), others were taped over.


Picture courtesy of Jay Weinstein


1974 issue VEHICLE embossed along bottom.
December validation decal
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1974 issueE=Massachusetts Turnpike. VEHICLE embossed along the bottom. December validation decals were used until 1975 when someone finally realized how redundant and unnecessary it was to use-up validation stickers on tax exempt vehicles with permanent plates. Some validation stickers were removed (scratched-off), others were taped over.
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1974 issue

A Suffix used on Service Sector vehicles (Tow Trucks)
Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection
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1974 issue
"D" suffix used on support vehicles
(supply vans, ramp trucks, non-patrol cruisers)

Plate courtesy of the Robert Ward Collection

The National Flag Truck

circa 1979-1981 issue- These later VEHICLE issues had STATE POLICE silkscreened instead of embossed. Haven't seen too many of these versions around. This one was found in an abandoned garage in Chino California in 2001!

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In 1981, license plates used by the MSP looked the same in color and format as the 1973 issue, however the word "OFFICIAL" returned
to the lower legend of the plate. In addition, the white background was brighter than the previous issue which had a yellowish tinge
to it, especially when aged.

Year holograms were added to the background sheeting in 1985 and onward.


1981-1989 issue- Brighter white reflective sheeting- OFFICIAL embossed along the bottom.

Click picture for a larger image

1981-1989 issue. Troop F (Logan Airport)
 

1989 saw the introduction of an attractive graphic license plate for all marked MSP vehicles. The plate was designed by James Aitken who worked at the MSP garage. The plate was made of aluminum and used a step border. It had the state name in silkscreened graphic situated between the upper bolt-holes. In the center left portion plate, the MSP "door seal" emblem was silkscreened and situated next to the embossed assignment number in red. Below that was the word "Official" silkscreened in blue. The plates actually started getting mounted onto vehicles by November of 1988 and the fleet changeover began in earnest around mid-January of 1989. Troop E and F plates were issued first then the rest were issued as cars were replaced or in for servicing. At first, the plates were run rear only with the front plate kept in reserve at the garage. In late Summer of 1989, the Commissioner verbally ordered that all MSP vehicles would run both front and rear plates.

With the consolidation of the RMV, MDC and Capitol Police agencies into the MSP in 1992, the Troop designations on the plates no longer took place, and numbers were issued at random. When these plates were originally issued, numbers 200 to 999 were intended for regular marked patrol cars and plates numbered 1000 and up were to be used for unmarked cars of all purposes, but not mounted, rather to be used as a dash plate for parking and when identification was needed outside of operations.

Ten #1 plates were issued to state dignitaries, and plate #1865 is displayed in the MSP museum.


1989-2006 issue

1989-2006 issue. Troop E (Turnpike)

1989-Current issue- E= Mass Turnpike Troop
Picture courtesy of Robert Ward

1989-2006 issue- F= Logan Airport (Boston) Troop

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1989-2006 issue- Boston Marathon Commemorative plate.
As I was told, members of the MSP who compete in the
annual Boston Marathon, are given these special plates
as tokens of esteem. The number 97 indicates in this instance
that it was the 97th running of the Boston Marathon in 1993.
Logo of 1993 Boston Marathon applied on right side of
number. These plates were NOT run on MSP vehicles.

Specially -made plate for MSP Boston Marathon team.
The number refers to the 26.2 miles it takes to complete.
"Marathon Team" emblem is a decal.
 

1931 Ford patrol car at MSP HQ Framingham
 

Democratic National Convention souvenir plate (2004)
given to security detail personnel for the event.

Courtesy of the Bob Bruce Collection
 

Massachusetts Turnpike plate
If you have one of these for sale or trade or just a picture,
Please contact Norm
 
In January of 2007, another new graphic license plate was unveiled for the MSP. This one was also blue over white but used blue embossed
characters instead of red, and the title "State Trooper" was used on the lower legend. The emblem used was the shoulder patch design
and a U.S. flag design was situated in the top right corner of the plate.

2007-Current issue



Sample of the new Massachusetts State Police license plate
Plate courtesy of Sgt. Mike Crosby and Karl Brenner
Massachusetts State Police
Picture courtesy of Billy Stone

1989 Corvette
MSP MOTORCYCLE LICENSE PLATES
The earliest known motorcycle plate used by the agency dates back to 1923. An MDPS motorcycle used a 6 1/4" x 4 1/2" embossed steel
plate # S 127. It had white characters on a blue background.
"MASS 1923" was embossed along the bottom of the plate. Assuming that State motorcycles used annual plates since that time, the following descriptions would be correct
(The number can be from single to triple digit up to the 1960's):
1924: white/maroon; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "MASS 1924" on bottom (Picture needed)
1925: white/black; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "MASS 1925" on bottom (Picture needed)
1926: white/blue; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "MASS 1926" on bottom (Picture needed)
1927: white/maroon; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "MASS 1927" on bottom (Picture needed)
1928: white/green; steel; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S###; "1928 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1929: white/blue; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "1929 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1930: white/maroon; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "1930 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)

1931: white/green; steel; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ###;
"1931 MASS" on bottom

white/maroon; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2;
S ### ; "1932 MASS" on bottom

Picture Courtesy of Mike Crosby
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1933: white/green; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "1933 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1934: white/maroon; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "1934 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)

 


1935: white/green; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ;
"1935 MASS" on bottom
Photo Courtesy of Peter P. Di Bara
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1936: white/maroon; steel; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2;
S ###; "1936 MASS" bottom
 

1937: white/dark green; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "1937 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1938: white/maroon; steel; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ###; "MASS 1938" bottom (Picture needed)
1939: white/green; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "MASS 1939" on bottom (Picture needed)
1940: white/maroon; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "MASS 1940" on bottom (Picture needed)
1941: white/green; steel; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ###; "MASS 1941" on bottom (Picture needed)
1942: white/maroon; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "MASS 1942" on bottom (Picture needed)
1943: (none issued)
1944: (none issued)
1945: white/blue; steel; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2"; S ###; 1945 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1946: white/black; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ### ; "1946 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1947: white/green; steel 6 1/4 x 4 5/8; S###; "1947 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)


1948: white/maroon; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2;
S ###; "1948 MASS" on bottom
Picture Courtesy of Kevin Dacy
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1949: white/black; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ###; "MASS 1949" on bottom (Picture needed)
1950: (none issued)
1951: white/maroon; steel and aluminum types; 6 1/4 X 4 1/2; S###; "1951 MASS" bottom (Picture needed)
1952: (none issued)
1953: white/black; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ###; "MASS 1953" on bottom (Picture needed)
1954: (none issued)
1955: white/maroon; 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S ###; "1955 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1956: reported but no details
1957: white/black; steel 6 1/4 x 4 1/2; S###; "MASS 1957" on bottom (Picture needed)
1958: (none issued)


1959: White/Maroon;Steel;

Courtesy of Mike Crosby
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1960: (none issued)
1961: white/green; steel 7 1/2 x 4 1/2; S###; "1961 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1962: (none issued)
1963: white/black; steel; 7 1/2 x 4 1/2; S ###; "1963 MASS" on bottom (Picture needed)
1964: white/maroon; steel; 7 1/2 x 4 1/2; S ###; "MASS 1964" bottom (Picture needed)

1966: White/dark green;Steel;
7 5/8 x 4 5/8; S###; "Mass 1966" bottom

Picture Courtesy of Kevin Dacy
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1967-1973: white/reflective blue (turquoise); aluminum;
7 5/8 x 4 5/8; "MASS" above; S ##; renewed with stickers through 1973. It was at this time that the MSP began to drastically reduce the
number of patrol motorcycles in the fleet. One plate, of this era,
# S 41 has a reflective white over red december 1971 validation
decal # T-007317
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Circa 1972 /73 issue used on Foxboro (Troop H- Station 3)
motorcycle radio boxes. MSP motorcycles at that time had no
markings on the rear, and a couple of Troopers got together
and decided to have a plate made to fit onto the rear of the cycle
as a prominent identifier. This is one of 4 plates that were made by the Massachusetts Department of Public Works in Wellesley.
These Foxboro SP motorcycles were used primarily for duty at Schaeffer Stadium (Now Gillette Stadium) football games into
the early 1980's. When new light assemblies were installed,
these plates were removed.

(Information graciously provided by Retired Tpr Paul Driscoll- MSP)

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1973-1986: blue/ reflective white; aluminum;
7 5/8 x 4 5/8; "MASS" above; S##; no decals used.

Picture courtesy of Ted Evangelous

1986-1989: blue/reflective white; aluminum; "MASS" embossed above STATE over POLICE silkscreened next to ## embossed. These plates were issued in June of 1986.


1989-Late 1990's: blue/ reflective white; aluminum;
"Massachusetts" silkscreened in blue above SP silkscreened
obliquely in red next to number embossed in red.
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Late 1990's- 2007: blue/ reflective white; aluminum "Mass" silkscreened in blue above silkscreened "door seal" emblem next to number embossed in blue. The space located to the right of "Mass" is allocated for placement of the annual safety inspection decal.

Troop F - Logan Airport
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1989-2007
Stickered to indicate that it has
passed it's annual inspection

Specially made for 1963 MSP Harley Davidson



2007 - current
Troop F - Logan Airport

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1995 Combined Accident Reduction Effort
conference souvenir plate.
Plate courtesy of Bill Cerevola
 

2007 Combined Accident Reduction Effort
conference souvenir plate.
Plate courtesy of Sgt. Mike Crosby
Massachusetts State Police

National Troopers Coalition Conference issue
 

The Registry of Motor Vehicles Police (RMV) was formed in in the mid 1910's and since the 1920's had sworn state traffic officers with titles such as "Inspector" "Investigator" and "Examiner". As time marched-on, RMV officers were given full police powers. R.M.V. Police had the primary function of enforcing motor vehicle safety laws statewide, drivers license testing, accident investigation, enforcing laws & regulations on Registry property, and commercial vehicle inspection. They were absorbed into the Massachusetts State Police in 1992.

Distinctive license plates used by the RMV began in 1966. Prior to that, only regular passenger plates were used.

(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1966: white/green; steel; 6 x 12;
"66 MASS" debossed along top over REGISTRY
(embossed center-left) followed by number up to 2 digits
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1967-1969: blue/white: aluminum;
MASSACHUSETTS along top over REGISTRY
(embossed center-left) followed by number up to 2 digits
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1970-1973: white/reflective blue (turquoise); aluminum;
MASSACHUSETTS over REGISTRY (embossed center-left)
followed by number up to 2 digits over OFFICIAL embossed
along bottom center of the plate. Plates were re-validated with
December decals every year on this base plate.
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1973-1981: blue/reflective white; aluminum;
MASSACHUSETTS over REGISTRY (embossed center-left)
followed by number up to 2 digits over VEHICLE.
Validation decals only used until 1975.
 

1981-1989: blue/reflective white; aluminum;
MASSACHUSETTS over REGISTRY
(embossed obliquely center-left) followed by
number up to 2 digits over OFFICIAL
Picture Courtesy of Mike Crosby
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1989-1992: As with the State Police plates at the time,
the plate was made of aluminum and used a step border.
It had the state name in silkscreened graphic situated between
the upper bolt-holes. In the center left portion plate, the RMV
"door seal" emblem was silkscreened and situated next to the
embossed assignment number in red. Below that was the
word "Official" silkscreened in blue.

Picture Courtesy of Mike Crosby
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RMV MOTORCYCLES
Although stated to have commenced issuance in 1961, there is no solid information as to the format used.
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1964: white/maroon; steel;
7 5/8 x 4 1/2; RMV ##;
"MASS 1964" on bottom (used multi-year)
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1967-1969: blue/white; aluminum;
7 5/8 x 4 5/8; "MASS" above; RMV ##
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1970-1973: white/reflective blue (turquoise) aluminum;
7 5/8 x 4 5/8; "MASS" above; RMV ##
renewed with decals through 1973
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1974- c. 1980's: blue/white; aluminum;
7 5/8 x 4 5/8; "MASS" above; RMV ##
(Permanent issue)
 

c. 1989-1992: blue/ reflective white; aluminum
"Mass" silkscreened in blue above silkscreened "door seal"
emblem next to number embossed in blue. Slogan "Spirit
of America" silkscreened in blue on bottom. The space
located to the right of "Mass" is allocated for placement
of the annual safety inspection decal.
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Despite having a State Police agency to oversee state law enforcement, during most of the 20th century, Massachusetts also had Metropolitan District (Commission) Police (M.D.C.) otherwise known as "Metro". The MDC police began in 1893, therefore far outdating the State Police. The MDC police were responsible for patrolling three coastal counties but were also granted full police powers statewide.

The MDC/Metro Police had the primary jurisdiction of law enforcement on all MDC controlled properties, roadways and all Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) facilities, reservoirs and watersheds. Additionally, the Metro Police had patrol jurisdiction on US Route 1 in Chelsea and Revere, Interstate 93 in Boston and Milton (Central Artery and the Southeast Expressway). The Metro Police also shared concurrent jurisdcition with communities throughout Greater Boston.

The Metro Police also maintained a full service detective unit to investigate crimes on its primary jurisdiction as well as providing Detectives and undercover agents to area cities and towns, the state Attorney Generals Office, the Norfolk and Suffolk County District Attorney's offices, area Drug Task Forces, the state Auto Theft Strike Force, the DEA Boston Drug Task Force, the Secret Service and the FBI.

They were absorbed into the Massachusetts State Police in 1992.

Distinctive license plates used by the RMV began in 1948. Prior to that, only regular passenger plates were used.

(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1948: white/maroon; steel; 6 1/2 x 13 1/2;
MDC ### over "48 MASS" in debossed
rectangle (center bottom)
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1949: white/black: steel; 6 1/2 x 13 1/2;
"49 MASS" in debossed rectangle
(center top) over MDC ###?
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1950: windshield sticker year
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1951: white/maroon; steel; 6 3/8 x 9 7/8;
"MASS" vertical on left, 1951 vertical on
right MDC over ### in center
1952: windshield sticker year
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1953: white/black; steel; 6 3/8 x 9 7/8;
"MASS" vertical on right, 1953 vertical on
left MDC over ### in center
1954: windshield sticker year
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1955; white/maroon; steel; 6 3/8 x 9 7/8;
"MASS" vertical on left, 1955 vertical
on right MDC over ### in center
1956: windshield sticker year
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1957; white/black; steel; 12 x 6 ;
"MASS 57" in debossed rectangle (center top)
over MDC ### white border
(Note: All plates from 1957 onward were the 12 x 6 dimension)
1958: windshield sticker year
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1959; white/maroon; steel;
"59 MASS" in debossed rectangle (center top)
over MDC ### white border
1960: windshield sticker year
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1961: white/green; steel
"MASS 61" in debossed rectangle (center top)
over MDC ### white border
1962: windshield sticker year
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1963: white/black; steel;
"63 MASS" in debossed rectangle (center top)
over MDC ### white border
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1964: white/maroon; steel;
"MASS 64" in debossed rectangle (center top)
over MDC ### white border
1965: windshield sticker year
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1966: white/green; steel;
"66 MASS" in debossed rectangle (center top)
over MDC ### white border
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1967-1969: blue/reflective white; aluminum; MASSACHUSETTS over MDC ###
over OFFICIAL blue border
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1970-1973: white/reflective blue (turquoise); aluminum;
MASSACHUSETTS over MDC ###
over OFFICIAL white border
 
(Picture needed of plate or plate on duty)
1973-1983: Blue/reflective white; aluminum;
MASSACHUSETTS over MDC over POLICE ###
over VEHICLE blue border
 

1984-1992: Blue/reflective white; aluminum;
MASSACHUSETTS over METRO over POLICE ###
over VEHICLE blue border
 
MDC POLICE MOTORCYCLES

The MDC police used motorcycles in their fleet from at least 1951, however the only details known at the present time is that the plate was 6 1/4 X 4 1/2, made of steel, white over maroon with "MASS" stacked vertically on the left margin of the plate, MDC over ## in the center and "1951" vertically down the right margin.

There was also a 1955 version of the same format and color as the 1951 plate. It can only be assumed that theses plates issued annually as with the MSP motorcycle license plates, but there is no archival information in that regard.

In the 1980's, a 7 7/8 x 4 5/8 aluminum plate, white with "MASS" embossed in top center, METRO over POLICE silkscreened to the left center and an embossed number was used until the department became absorbed into the State Police in 1992.

The last agency to be absorbed into the Massachusetts State Police in 1992 was the Capitol Police. The Capitol Police had the primary function of law enforcement on the grounds of the State Capitol building on Boston's Beacon Hill. The Capitol Police's station was inside the lobby of 1 Ashburton Place, which is adjacent to the State House. This station has since become MSP Barracks H-1.

The license plate issuance history for this agency only indicates a plate that was used in the 1960's, no color or format given, but had the characters CAPITOL POLICE 1.

Plain State Vehicle plates were issued until May of 1987 when a blue over reflective white plate was introduced which had MASSACHUSETTS embossed along the top center of the plate followed underneath by CAPITOL over POLICE silkscreened next to the embossed assignment number.

This plate was used until the department became absorbed into the State Police in 1992

CAPITOL POLICE MOTORCYCLES

The only known motorcycle plates used by the Capitol Police were aluminum and came out in May of 1987 and measured 7 7/8 x 4 5/8.

They had the words CAPITOL over POLICE silkscreened on the left center side of the plate, and embossed number to the right and "MASS" embossed in the center bottom of the plate.