The 30-year state police veteran was named on Friday to succeed Marian McGovern as head of the 2,300-member department.
McGovern, the first woman to head the state police, announced plans to retire earlier this month. Friday was her last day on the job.
Patrick said McGovern had done a “magnificent job.”
Alben began his career as a state trooper in 1983 and previously served as an investigator in the Hampden District Attorney’s office and as head of the state police organized crime unit in western Massachusetts.
His most recent assignment was commander of the Division of Field Services, the largest entity within the state police.
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