Colonel Robert M. Coupe Retirement Announcement

Date Posted: Tuesday, November 27th, 2012
Categories:  Former Governor Jack Markell (2009-2017) News Office of the Governor

The Delaware State Police announces today, the retirement of the Superintendent of the State Police, Colonel Robert M. Coupe, effective Friday, December 21, 2012. Colonel Coupe has served the residents of Delaware with distinction for almost 28 years.

 Colonel Coupe joined the State Police ranks in 1985 and has served as Troop Commander, Internal Affairs Investigator, Homicide Detective, Training Officer at the DSP Training Academy and as a member of the DSP Honor Guard Unit, and a founding member of the DSP Pipes & Drums. In July 2009, Governor Jack Markell appointed him to the position of Superintendent, with the rank of Colonel.

 “Since assuming the role of Superintendent, Colonel Coupe has led the State Police overseeing 676 sworn Troopers and 262 civilian employees. Colonel Coupe was focused on creating a climate of trust through open and honest communication, and transparency,” said Sergeant Paul G. Shavack, Director of Public Information for the Delaware State Police. “One of his main priorities was to prepare the Division for the future by effectively developing the future leadership of the Division and giving them their opportunity to lead. Colonel Coupe ensured that the Division continued to provide effective and proficient law enforcement services with an attitude of professionalism and compassion while maintaining open and healthy relationships with the agency, the media, and the public.”

 “I am humbled and proud to have had the privilege to serve as the Superintendent of the Delaware State Police.  I have done my best to serve with dignity and honor befitting the integrity of the Division,” said Colonel Coupe.

“I am grateful to Governor Markell and Secretary Schiliro for giving me this opportunity, and for the support and guidance they have provided to me during my tenure.   I offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Executive Staff, our Troopers and our Civilian staff, they have never wavered on their commitment to the mission and the citizens we serve; for that I am truly grateful.”

 Coupe continued to say, “I will look back on my twenty-eight years of service to the State of Delaware fondly, and cherish the memories and the people I met along the way.   It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Delaware as a Trooper with the Delaware State Police.”

 During his tenure with the State Police, Coupe served on many related councils and organizations such as the Delaware Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, International Association Chiefs of Police, Delaware Police Chiefs Council, Delaware Criminal Justice Council, Child Protection Advocacy Council, Governor’s Advisory Council to the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health, Governor’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee, American Bar Association Racial Justice Improvement Project Task Force Member, Delaware Sentencing Accountability Commission, Fund to Combat Violent Crimes Committee, and the Juvenile Justice Advisory Council. He holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice from the Wilmington University and an A.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Delaware Technical and Community College. In addition Colonel Coupe is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, considered the West Point of law enforcement.

 Colonel Coupe is a Saint Mark’s High School graduate and resides in Claymont with his wife, Pamela. He is the proud father of two children, Jocelyn and Tyler.

 “Col. Coupe began his tenure as having a reputation of being a troopers’ trooper. Over last 4 years, he has without question, met that standard. He has instilled a sense of integrity, objectivity and compassion.  For all who have had the privilege to work with him, it has been an incredible time to watch the agency move in the direction it is now taking,” said Lewis D. Schiliro, Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security.

 “Colonel Coupe’s leadership of the Delaware State Police the last four years has been exceptional, inspiring dedication and loyalty from senior leadership to the rank and file troopers,” said Governor Jack Markell.  “His focus on professionalism, integrity and transparency has served both the Delaware State Police and the citizens of Delaware well.  Colonel Coupe is one of the best and brightest in the law enforcement profession.  He has worked relentlessly protecting and serving our citizens.”

 Accomplishments and Initiatives of Colonel Coupe’s tenure from 2009-2012 include:



  •  DSP Maritime Unit – The Delaware State Police Maritime Unit was established in August 2011. 


  •  Police Prosecution Program – Traffic offenses that are appealed to court are dealt with at the JP Court level by Troop Administrators and JP Court Magistrates instead of tying up the Court of Common Pleas with such minor offenses. 


  • Operation Pressure Point –    DSP Troopers deployed to the City of Wilmington to combat violent crime. 


  • Digital In-Car Cameras (Mobile Video Recorder)(MVR) – Approximately 200 DSP patrol vehicles are now equipped with a state of the art Digital MVR funded by the efforts of our Congressional Delegation (COPS Grant). 


  • New Troop 3 Facility – Gained the support of Governor and Legislators to receive funding to construct a new Troop 3 in Kent County, Delaware. 


  • Citizen Satisfaction Survey – In July 2011 the Delaware State Police launched an on-line Citizen Satisfaction Survey to measure the public’s feedback on the service we are providing.


  • Gun Buy Back – In December 2011 the Delaware State Police under the guidance of Department Secretary Lewis Schiliro and Governor Markell partnered with the NCCPD and WPD to conduct a gun buy back initiative.   The initiative provided law enforcement to actively partner with the community to reduce violent crime and get unwanted guns off the street. The initiative was a huge success and recovered over 2000 firearms.


  • Agreement between DTCC & DSP Academy – In an effort to reduce the length of time required for Recruit training directed the partnership with Delaware Technical and Community College and the Delaware State Police Training Academy to create a curriculum to address specific courses required by the Delaware Council on Police Training. 


  • Virtual Study Group on Wilmington University web based Blackboard – In partnership with the Wilmington University created a virtual study group to help candidates prepare for Promotional Exam process. 


  • Crime Mapping and Expanded Crime Analysis – The development of new crime mapping and crime analysis program to allow all police officers to access crime data and criminal intelligence sources. 


  • Partnered with DEMA during the Winter Storms of 2010, Hurricane Irene in August 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in October 2012


  • DSP Mounted Patrol Unit– The creation of the DSP Mounted Unit.  Unit operational in July 2012 and utilizes horses privately owned by Troopers to reduce operational costs. 


  • Examining Fatigue Management Planning Section research to reduce liability and improve health of Troopers.  


  • Limited English Proficiency (LEP) policy developed to satisfy Department of Justice (DOJ) mandate.  Continuing to expand program to improve translator resources available to Troopers in the field


  • DSP Military Service Award – established the Military Service Award to recognize civilian and sworn personnel for their service in the United States Military


  • Leadership Development Program (LDP) – Restored the LDP to provide leadership training to first level supervisors. 


  • DSP Cadet Program – Reestablished the DSP Cadet program in Sussex County at Troop 7 for the summer of 2012 with two cadets. 


  • DSP Explorer Program – The program has been expanded and now all eight Patrol Troops have a program that is chartered by the Boy Scouts of America as a registered Explorer’s Program. 


  • RAPID Program Implemented – The DSP SBI implemented the RAPID program in compliance with recent legislative changes made to the Pawnbroker, Secondhand Dealer and Scrap Metal Processors law (T24, Chapter 23).  The RAPID program complies with the mandate for electronic reporting by Dealers and allows law enforcement to access property data bases for investigative purposes.  The RAPID program has shown to be a valuable tool in recovering stolen property and solving crimes.

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