ESSEX COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
Sheriff Kevin Coppinger
Essex County Sheriff’s Office
20 Manning Avenue
Middleton, MA 01949
Kevin F. Coppinger is the Sheriff of Essex County, having taken office in January 2017. Prior to becoming Sheriff, he served thirty-three years in law enforcement. His career began as a police officer in Lynnfield before transferring to the Lynn Police Department in 1985, where he moved up through the ranks to become Police Chief in 2009 and held that position until assuming command of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office in 2017.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from the Northeastern University and a Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Anna Maria College. He is also a graduate of the 203rd Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia as well as the FBI-LEEDA Program.
Sheriff Coppinger is an active member of the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, the National Sheriffs’ Association, Essex County Chiefs of Police Association, Police Executive Research Forum, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy Associates. He currently holds a seat on the Massachusetts Special Commission on Correctional Funding and, is a member of the Massachusetts Police Training Committee. Coppinger is also an Advisory Board member for the North Shore Community College’s Criminal Justice Program; Violently Injured Police Officers Organization (VIPO); and UTEC, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to the success of today’s youth.
As Sheriff of Essex County, he is committed to further professionalizing the Sheriff’s Office by improving staff skills, training, and accountability; expanding mental health services and medication assisted treatment to confront the opioid epidemic; improving re-entry programs and community follow-up; and by strengthening collaboration with other sheriffs, public safety leaders, community groups and organizations.
History of the Essex's County Sheriff's Office
The Office of Essex County Sheriff serves a rich part of the Commonwealth’s history. The county’s first sheriff George Corwin who took office in 1692.
The Sheriff’s Office was established to maintain regional prisons known as Houses of Correction. In fact, some of the nation’s oldest jails are located in Essex County. The first jail in the nation was operational in Salem, Mass. in 1638. The original jail was a series of wooden structures and additions and operated through 1813, including during the Salem Witch Trials. A newer jail was built of stone at a cost of $80,000 and opened in 1813.
The nation’s second oldest jail was built in Lawrence in 1853 with 116 cells and costing $100,000. Both the Lawrence and Salem jails were retired in the late 1980s. Some inmates were moved to the Lawrence Correctional Alternative Center, which is now the Essex County Sheriff’s Department Pre-release and Re-Entry Center. The Sheriff’s Department took over the center in 1976. Prior to the Department’s takeover of the center, the building had been used as a reformatory school for boys.
The Sheriff’s Department’s largest facility is the Middleton Jail and House of Correction. Building started in November 1989, and it opened in February 1991. The facility opened with a population of 550 inmates. Today, the average daily population is approximately 1,200 sentenced and pretrial inmates. It also serves as the Department’s headquarters.
The Sheriff’s Department opened its nationally recognized Women in Transition facility in 2001 in Salisbury, under Sheriff Frank Cousins. The facility is a minimum security and pre-release facility dedicated to females. It remains in operation today.
While the role of jails has traditionally been about care, custody, and control, the Essex County Sheriff’s Department has been a leader in developing re-entry programs to help incarcerated persons leave ECSD facilities as productive and successful citizens in the community. Many of the programs developed focus on drug treatment and mental health, as well as workforce training, high school and college educational programing, and other similar services.
The Department also supports Essex County communities in many ways. Its Civil Process division serves criminal and civil orders from all Essex County courts. The Department works closely with seniors in Essex County through the TRIAD program to focus on senior safety. The Department holds an annual youth academy helps hundreds of at-risk youth through a fun-filled summer camp. Officers also work hand-in-hand with law enforcement agencies locally, as well as at the state- and federal-level, on investigations to make Essex County communities safer.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Department falls under the leadership of Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger, the 31stelected sheriff in Essex County. He took office in 2017. Kevin F. Coppinger is the 31st elected Sheriff of Essex County. He took office in January 2017.
Sheriff Coppinger is committed to bring positive change to the Sheriff's Department by improving staff skills, training, and accountability; expanding mental health services and detox treatment to confront the opioid epidemic; improving the re-entry programs and community follow-up; and by strengthening collaboration with municipal public safety leaders and community groups and organizations.
Sheriff Coppinger previously served as Chief of the Lynn Police Department. During his 33-year career, he served as a Lynnfield Police Officer before transferring to the Lynn Police Department in 1985. In Lynn, after a similar assignment as a Patrol Officer, he was promoted to Sergeant and then Lieutenant where he served as the Internal Affairs/Public Information Officer and Special Projects Coordinator. In 1993, Captain Coppinger was assigned as the Commanding Officer of the Second Division. In 1995, he was promoted to Deputy Chief in charge of the Administrative functions of the Department. In January of 2001, he became Deputy Chief in charge of Operations overseeing the Patrol and Criminal Investigation Divisions. In 2009, Kevin Coppinger was appointed Acting Chief and in December, 2009, was permanently appointed Chief.
As Chief of the Lynn Police Department, Coppinger distinguished himself as an innovative leader in public safety on the local, county, and statewide level. Collaborating with other chiefs, the District Attorney, the courts, and community groups, he worked to identify and employ more effective strategies and programs to prevent crime. Recognizing his involvement in efforts to improve community policing and regional work to combat drug crimes, Coppinger was invited to be part of the White House 21st Century Policing Initiative in Washington, D.C. to brainstorm new ideas with Senior Obama Administration Officials about how to enhance public confidence in the justice system.