In the New Year, Boston will have a new mayor and a new head of the police department.
On Monday morning, after much speculation and chatter, Police Commissioner Ed Davis announced his resignation from the force, effective in the next few months. “I feel very positive about leaving at this time on my timeline, knowing I will be leaving having done my very best. [The department] is in much better shape now than when I came here, and I think we have moved the reputation [of the department] forward to a place where I feel satisfied,” Davis said to a room full of reporters.
Davis made a deal with Mayor Tom Menino to stay through the summer to make sure that all of the current strategies in place continue and transition smoothly after his exit. Davis spoke highly of his relationship with Menino, calling the mayor a “friend and mentor” who showed him how to get on the streets to connect with the community.
Menino said in a statement Monday morning, during the press conference at Boston Police Headquarters, that Davis has served with integrity, a steady hand, and compassion. “His focus on community policing has empowered our residents and increased community trust, positioning our officers as residents’ allies in making our neighborhoods safer. During some of our city’s most trying days, Commissioner Davis worked relentlessly to protect the safety of all our citizens,” Menino said. “On behalf of the entire city … I thank Commissioner Davis for his leadership and tireless commitment to improve the quality of life for the people of Boston.”
The city will work with Davis to ensure a smooth transition as a new mayor is elected and appoints the next commissioner. With Davis stepping down, an interim will be appointed until the city’s next mayor steps into Menino’s shoes.
Davis said he anticipates staying on board with the department for the next 30 to 60 days—adding that he’d stay longer if the Red Sox continue to advance in the playoffs, he said to laughs from the room. “When the mayor leaves, you have to reassess, and that’s what I have done,” Davis said. “It’s not that I’m afraid that someone wouldn’t select me [once Menino is gone] … seven years is twice the normal time of tenure for a police commissioner in the United States.”
Davis said he has several offers he’s considering, but it will take a couple of months to get them sorted out. He has been offered a fellowship at Harvard, but it’s not a done deal, he said. “I am leaning heavily in that direction,” he said, adding that it’s his No. 1 choice. There are other options on the table, but he declined to comment on them.
Davis, who was brought into Boston from Lowell more than seven years ago, said it’s now his time to try other things. “Our citizens have the best trained officers protecting them … this is a team. We have put together an unbelievable team of people focused on the service to the community…and it has made all the difference,” he said.
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