Longtime Mass. State Police detective, cancer survivor, charity chairman dies from illness

BOSTON (WHDH) - A detective lieutenant who spent 44 years with the Massachusetts State Police and survived a bout with cancer died on Monday from a “brief illness,” officials said.

“It is with great sadness that the Massachusetts State Police announce the passing today of Detective Lieutenant William Coulter, 68, after a brief illness,” the department wrote in a Facebook post. “His passing leaves a tremendous void within the MSP family and beyond.”

Coulter, who joined the department in 1974, would have reached 45 years on the job in November. He was said to be widely known in the law enforcement and charitable worlds.

Coulter spent many years working as an investigator and combating gang violence, the department said.  At the time of his passing, he was assigned to the Division of Investigative Services at General Headquarters.

Police say Coulter survived cancer, defying and overcoming a “dire” prognosis on more than one occasion.

“He was fiercely devoted to using his own experience to help and support a great many fellow patients, both inside and outside the department,” the Facebook post read. “Time and again, across all the years, he shared his hope, strength, and advice with countless people battling cancer whom he had met or heard about.”

Coulter also served as chairman for the Cops for Kids With Cancer charity, which provides financial support to families of children receiving cancer care.

In addition to upholding the law and leading a lifelong fight against cancer, Coulter had a great passion for fitness, completing more than 150 marathons and 20 triathlons. He was an annual participant in the Boston Marathon.

Many years ago, the gym at Massachusetts State Police General Headquarters was named in honor of Coulter, who was nicknamed “Ironman.”

Services for Coulter are still being arranged. Police say more information will be released when plans are finalized.


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