Two public engagement sessions for BPD commissioner search planned for later this month
No low is too low for the Boston Police Department. Even casual news readers are probably familiar with some of their standout depravity, like protecting an accused child molester for years and allowing him to become head of the patrolmen’s union.
There’s also outright brutality, as has been captured on countless videos, and of course all of the innocents they’ve sent away for life, as was recently documented in an excellent Boston Globe expose.
All sins considered, it’s hard to see much real reform ever coming to the department. That’s despite legitimate efforts by members of the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency (OPAT) task force among others.
To make matters more difficult, the BPD army (futilely) worked hard to stop the election of Mayor Michelle Wu. So it will be interesting to see what comes of their relationship, and certainly the announcement last week of a “five-member committee to steer the public engagement and search process for the next BPD Commissioner, a group of deeply respected law and public safety professionals and community leaders” was among the first chess moves made by the new administration. As Wu’s office stated in a media release:
The Committee will be chaired by retired Justice Geraldine Hines of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The Committee will engage first in public and stakeholder meetings to set parameters for the search, then identify and interview prospective candidates, and make recommendations to the Mayor in the coming months.
The search for the Boston Police Commissioner is a critical step in achieving reforms and stability in the nation’s oldest municipal law enforcement agency. Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory P. Long is currently serving as Acting Commissioner and will remain in the role until a permanent Commissioner is appointed. Commissioner Long will serve as an advisor to the Search Committee.
The members of the Search Committee are: Justice Geraldine Hines (retired), Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, chair; Edward F. Davis III, former Commissioner, Boston Police Department; Bishop William E. Dickerson II, Senior Pastor, Greater Love Tabernacle Church; Abrigal Forrester, Executive Director, Teen Empowerment; Jasmine Gonzales Rose, Professor of Law and Deputy Director of Research & Policy, Center for Antiracist Research, Boston University.
Though former commish Ed Davis may stand out among that group, he does have something in common with the others, which is that no officer in Boston gives a shit about what he has to say either. Even as a former North Shore cop adept at pushing propaganda and dysrationalia, he was considered an outsider during his time in the Hub. It’s not apparent what he has to add to the discussion, but at this relatively early stage in the process we might as well see how it all plays out before screaming any louder.
“We know that investing in public safety and health, and achieving needed police reforms, will depend on committed and visionary leadership for the city and the Boston Police,” Wu said in a media release. “With the support of Justice Hines, Commissioner Long, and this remarkable group of civic leaders, we are taking a critical step in our broader efforts to bring new standards of accountability and oversight to policing, enhance public safety for all our residents, and build community trust.”
The release added, “Supported by staff in the Mayor’s Office, Justice Hines and members of the search committee will host their first two virtual public engagement sessions on January 20 and January 26, with more to follow. The Committee will also meet with community and law enforcement groups to ensure their views on BPD leadership are reflected in the process.” You can find links to those sessions below.
Thursday, January 20, 6pm – REGISTER HERE
Wednesday, January 26, 12pm — REGISTER HERE
A Queens, NY native who came to New England in 2004 to earn his MA in journalism at Boston University, Chris Faraone is the editor and co-publisher of DigBoston and a co-founder of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. He has published several books including 99 Nights with the 99 Percent, and has written liner notes for hip-hop gods including Cypress Hill, Pete Rock, Nas, and various members of the Wu-Tang Clan.