William Evans Will Become Boston’s New Police Commissioner
To anyone who compared Tom Menino with his successor, Mayor Marty Walsh: Congratulations, you may have been dead on.
In an announcement late Tuesday night that former Boston Police Superintendent William Evans would be officially tapped as the city’s new Commissioner, a role he has been handling since Ed Davis stepped down back in November, Walsh seemingly skipped a review of the after-hours press release, which bears a striking resemblance to a statement used by Menino not too long ago.
“The Boston Police Department will be in great hands under the leadership of Bill Evans,” Walsh said in a statement about Evans’ appointment, which will be officially announced on Thursday. “He knows how to manage his team of talented officers, has the respect of the rank and file, and has proven his ability to diffuse even the most difficult of public safety situations.”
If you feel like you have heard that one before, it’s because you have.
Menino, in his own prepared statement about Evans moving up from his role as the department’s Superintendent to that of acting Commissioner, was the first one to use those exact words.
Here’s Menino’s statement from November:
“The Boston Police Department will be in great hands under the leadership of Bill Evans,” Mayor Menino said. “He knows how to manage his team of talented officers, has the respect of the rank and file and has proven his ability to diffuse even the most difficult of public safety situations.”
The remainder of the announcement, which touted Evans’ work on the force for the last 31 years, was also verbatim, including the description of his “successful, peaceful handling” of Occupy Boston, and his work leading up to the capture of one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Plagiarism? On some level, sure. Pure laziness after a whirlwind few days of transitioning to a mayoral position? Maybe. Proving he is a recycling aficionado on day one? Absolutely.
But not long after the release went out, Walsh’s press secretary, Kate Norton, tried to right the mishap, and a newer version explaining the mayor’s decision to choose Evans was sent to the press.
“The release distributed earlier about Commissioner Evans’ appointment was inadvertently sent in error. It contained text from a previous press release announcing Commissioner Evans’ appointment as Interim Commissioner, that was not updated ahead of distribution. I apologize for any confusion this error has caused,” Norton said.
In his updated announcement, Walsh had this to say: “Evans has been an exceptional leader to the Boston Police Department,” and with public safety being one of his “biggest priorities,” picking him for the job was a no-brainer. “Commissioner Evans has been an invaluable resource to me during this transition period, and I know that his expertise and governance of the Police Department will be a key component to my Administration.”