New Label for Stable
By Meghan Ottolini
ACTON -- The Massachusetts State Police on Tuesday dedicated a training center for horse-mounted officers to the memory of Lt. Maureen Wesinger-Lewis, a leader in horseback patrol who died of a rare cancer last June.
Wesinger-Lewis served 31 years in the State Police and found her “true calling” as commander of the State Police Mounted Section, training officers in the saddle with the Royal Canadian Mountain Police. Under her watch, the unit expanded to 11 full-time troopers and focused its efforts on protecting state parks and reservations.
Retired State Police Lt. William Lewis Jr., Wesinger-Lewis’ husband, said the police stables were the animal lover’s “whole life,” and she worked tirelessly up until two days before her death.
“She was down here 12, 14 hours a day, on days off. It didn’t matter,” he said.
More than 200 hundred people turned out to the training facility in Acton for the dedication Tuesday morning, braving chilly temperatures and the impending arrival of a winter storm.
Mounted Unit Commander Sgt. John Linquata’s voice quivered as he spoke about Wesinger-Lewis’s multiyear fight against a rare cancer.
“Her illness showed me how courageous and tough a woman she was,” Linquata said. “That is her legacy.”
The unit also named a newly acquired 7-year-old horse “Maurice” in the late lieutenant’s honor. Officers said he’ll be called “Mo” for short.
Even while undergoing intense treatment for her illness, Wesinger-Lewis continued to work and study to rise to the rank of lieutenant.
“I have pictures of her at the hospital getting her chemo, with her study materials for the lieutenant’s exam, and she’s sleeping with that on her,” Wesinger-Lewis’s husband said. “She worked hard for everything she got.”
Wesinger-Lewis died on June 18, 2018, before achieving that dream. The State Police promoted her posthumously to lieutenant in October, and presented her husband and 17-year-old daughter, Caitlyn, with her lieutenant’s badge Tuesday.