Michelle Wu appoints Boston Police Commissioner search committee – Boston Herald

Mayor Michelle Wu said she aims to put in place a new police commissioner by spring and appoint a committee to give her recommendations – the five people in the body have pledged some form of ‘reform’ overall.

Wu, speaking to reporters at city hall, said of the possible new chief policeman: “This leader will need to be aligned with the vision that our residents have presented around what we need for our department and with a demonstrated track record in building community trust. “

Wu announced that retired Supreme Court Justice Geraldine Hines would chair the committee, which will also include former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, Bishop William Dickerson II of the Greater Love Tabernacle Church, Abrigal Forrester of Teen Empowerment and
Jasmine Gonzales Rose Professor of Law at the Center for Anti-Racism Research at Boston University.

Several members spoke of the diversity of experiences within the committee, but to some extent they all seemed close to the same page on the idea of ​​reform: namely, that there is a significant need for it.

“Our committee is tasked with identifying for your consideration candidates who are committed to leading the city’s journey towards systemic reform and police reform that focuses on fairness, justice, accountability and accountability. transparency, “Hines, the first black woman to sit at the top of the state court, said of the candidate identification process to pass on to Wu.

When asked what kinds of reforms the commission is talking about with these kinds of statements, Wu mentioned an alternative response system – where non-police services answer certain calls to 911 – and changes in union contracts. police.

Davis, the former top city cop who led the department during the Marathon bombing, said the department needed “transparency, strong connections in the community, to understand what the community waits and reform of our practices is something that is extremely necessary in these days.

Davis was the last police commissioner to come from outside the department when Boston hired him away from Lowell in 2006. The last three top cops have all been promoted from within: William Evans, William Gross, and Dennis White.

Although Evans and Gross were generally popular, the closed-door approach returned to bite then-mayor Martin Walsh when just days after White’s appointment, decades-old domestic violence allegations against White surfaced, leading Walsh to quickly put him on leave. . Acting Mayor Kim Janey then attempted to fire White and planned to install another internal candidate, Nora Baston, but White fought his dismissal fiercely in court, delaying the dismissal for a messy few weeks as the case unfolded. was playing in the courts and in the headlines.

In the end, Janey fired him, but did not name Baston. Chief Superintendent Gregory Long, the department’s second-in-command, has been acting commissioner since last February with few incidents, though he’s not looking for the top post. Wu and some of the search committee members thanked him for keeping things stable during the turbulent year that has passed.

Wu said the committee would hold “listening sessions” later in the month and hope to have suggestions for Wu candidates in the spring.

In Boston, police commissioners are appointed for five-year terms, but these do not rest when one goes and another comes. Right now we’re technically in the final months of a term for which Evans has been appointed. The new five-year term begins on May 1.

Brandon D. James