Swearing in Ceremony for Commissioner Davis

The text of Police Commisioner Edward Davis is now availible.

"I am truly energized by the challenges this job presents. We are at a critical point in our City’s history. The successes of the 90’s - when crime, particularly the murder rate, was driven to historic lows - are behind us. While overall crime is still down (Part I crime is down 3%, according to preliminary numbers), violent crime has been increasing over the last few years. This is true in many cities across the nation. All of us in law enforcement saw this as inevitable, but that does not mean we have to accept it. "

Swearing in Ceremony for Commissioner Davis Thank you, Chief Goslin. And a special thank you to Principal Jones and your staff of the Mildred Avenue Middle School for allowing us to use this school. Mr. Mayor, Mrs. Menino, and distinguished guests: Before I begin my remarks, we all know the Boston police department lost a valued and long time member of our department yesterday. I hope that officer Denise Corbett’s family knows that we mourn with them and offer whatever help we can give in their time of grief. I want to pause for a moment of silence for the Corbett family. Thank you to Mayor Menino, for giving me this opportunity. In the past three weeks, I have had the distinct pleasure of accompanying the Mayor to every neighborhood in the city of Boston. His workday is nothing short of overwhelming. While trying to keep up with him I have learned that he seems to know everyone in Boston by their first name. The Mayor cares about people and they know that. It is an honor to know him and his wonderful and equally committed wife, Angela. Thank you to Al Goslin, for your outstanding job as Acting Commissioner these past seven months. Your 39 years of service and commitment to this Department is an example for all of our officers to follow. I and everyone that I know in the department and the city is thrilled that you have agreed to stay on as Superintendent-in-Chief. I look forward to working in partnership with you as we move forward building teams among the leadership of the Boston Police. Thank you to my family, for their love and support all these years. You cannot achieve the goals that I have been privileged to experience without the sacrifice of your loved ones. I am blessed with a patient and understanding wife Jane, with whom I will celebrate 25 years of marriage this June. Without her I would not be here today. My son Ed is currently going to college and working as an EMT. I am very proud of him as he follows the family commitment to public safety. My daughter Kaitlyn is an exceptional student at Suffolk University; she aspires to be an attorney. My youngest son Phillip is a junior in high school and a starting goalie for the Lowell high hockey team. I am a very proud father. Thank you to the officers and staff of the Boston Police Department, both present and past. You have built a legacy of accomplishment that leaves me humbled by this great opportunity. I plan to build on these past successes, and am confident that this Department, the first in the nation, will continue to stand among the best in the nation. Thank you to the people of Boston. Since the Mayor announced my selection last month, I have been meeting with community groups and other active and caring community members across this city. I have found Boston to be full of people who are committed to this city. People who are passionate about their neighborhoods and their safety, and who are willing to work hard as we make this a safer city. I have also found that the people of the city of Boston are incredibly hospitable and open. They have welcomed me and my family. I have received so many offers of help in picking a new home that I am fearful of the reality that I must actually pick one neighborhood over another. I see the men and women of the Lowell Police Department here, sworn and civilian. I thank you for coming. I thank all of you for what you have taught me. I thank you for being my partner as we worked to make Lowell a safe place. I know that the Lowell PD will continue that vital work under the direction of my lifelong friend, newly appointed Superintendent Ken Lavallee. I am also humbled to see so many of my colleagues from local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as elected officials, union representatives, and members of the clergy and the community. It is impossible to convey my excitement and renewed sense of commitment to my profession as I accept this position today. I hail from a family of police officers. I have enjoyed a long career in law enforcement, working with some incredible men and women as a member of the Lowell Police Department, the last dozen years as Chief of that force. Police work is something that I truly love and enjoy, even after all these years. I am excited by this opportunity. The BPD has long been recognized as the model police department when it comes to big-city community-policing innovations. Trust me when I tell you that Boston has built an international reputation for the level of partnerships and collaborations with the community and with other law enforcement agencies. I am thrilled for the opportunity to work with the men and women of the BPD to help me build on that history and strengthen our foundations. I am truly energized by the challenges this job presents. We are at a critical point in our City’s history. The successes of the 90’s - when crime, particularly the murder rate, was driven to historic lows - are behind us. While overall crime is still down (Part I crime is down 3%, according to preliminary numbers), violent crime has been increasing over the last few years. This is true in many cities across the nation. All of us in law enforcement saw this as inevitable, but that does not mean we have to accept it. As in other major cities in this country, the successes achieved in the 90’s changed citizen’s expectations for crime. We must endeavor to reduce violence and the tolerance of violence in our communities. The challenge now is how do we re-invigorate our efforts? It’s more than just a matter of dusting off previous strategies. These aren’t the 1990’s. We do not have the huge influx of funding from the Federal government that we enjoyed back then. As the Commissioner of a large city police department, I plan to be a very vocal participant in the effort to change that at the national level. Instead of looking back, this is a time to look forward. We need to ask “What new strategies can we use to keep our city safe?” We are fortunate that Boston already has in place very committed people willing to work hard to reduce violence. That includes the people of this City, the religious community, the Boston Police command staff, and our officers in the field. I intend to work with all of them to find new ways to drive down crime. There are two things I believe in, and they are beliefs that will guide nearly every decision I make as your Police Commissioner One: I believe in community policing. Police and community partnerships are the most effective way to drive down crime. Two: I believe that a police department derives its credibility from the community we serve. A trusting relationship between police and community is essential. That means engaging in real dialogue, partnership and openness. As your Police Commissioner, I have three immediate priorities: Priority One is to drive down violent crime in our neighborhoods, especially the level of gun violence in our city. We will maintain a relentless focus on driving down violent crime and the fear of crime. Priority Two is to develop and implement strategies that will once again make the BPD the home of innovation. I promise you that the best programs in the country will be here in Boston. I pledge to be open to innovative ideas from all levels of this department. Officers closest to the streets produce the best ideas for the neighborhoods they police. Obviously, fiscal challenges await me. Of course, money always helps, but again, money cannot be the only solution considered. We must invest in sound strategies, appropriate tools, prevention efforts and the resources already found in the department – the men and women in blue and the cadre of personnel who support their efforts every day. My third priority is to improve trust within the community. As I’ve said, our legitimacy comes from the community. In Lowell, we received national acclaim for engaging in proactive conversation for our to include our minority communities in conversations about race and policing. Proactive outreach to every constituency is vital to real communication that is the basis of trust. I have already been meeting with ministers, business owners, and neighborhood groups. The Ten Point Coalition is revitalized and working hard with us to stop the cycle of violence. Reverend Brown and Minister Don Mohammed, Reverend John Borders are an example of our many partners. We value their role and we thank them. I have also met with many other ministers and members of the clergy in a number of our neighborhoods – too many to mention here - and I have come away impressed with their level of commitment and their ability to outreach to the community. At each of those meetings, I have made it clear that I do not believe in indiscriminate policing. Indiscriminate policing can build a wall between the police and the community. I prefer instead to direct our resources toward targeted, focused prevention, enforcement and investigative efforts. This Department has already broken a lot of new ground by focusing on the intersection of high impact people, problem locations and behaviors, and focusing their efforts on those points. That work will continue. If we are to have credibility within our many diverse communities, we as an agency must reflect that diversity at all levels. The Department toady is more diverse than at any point in its history. But that is not enough. I will do everything within the constraints of the law to further diversify this Department and the Command Staff. Recruiting young people from our own neighborhoods to the police not only helps build trust, but builds a better police department. Over the weeks and months ahead, you will be hearing a lot more from me as I lay out the specifics of our plans and strategies for the Department. I will invite community members to be at the table as we develop our strategies. Only a small percentage of police operations need to be “secret.” Openness and accountability must rule the day. What do I expect of our officers? I expect all BPD officers to be respectful, develop trust in, with and for the community, treat even the bad guys with dignity afforded as human beings, and be ever cognizant of the fact that our legitimacy comes from the community. In return, I can promise you my support and leadership. I understand that our officers have worked hard these past few years. I can promise you that I will work just as hard, to make sure you have the strategies, programs, tools, and training you need to do your job. Boston, the birthplace of Community Policing, is a perfect location to harness the momentum that can effect real and dramatic change in our neighborhoods. There are new realities that Boston, like most other major cities, is trying to adjust to. I know Boston has seen great successes in the past when all of the stakeholders worked together. I know that by working together, we will achieve even greater successes. I believe in this city, in this Department, and in our ability to work together. I know the Mayor believes. And I know our officers believe. That's why I stand before you today, energized and confident of our success, as we work together to make the Boston Police the best Community Police force in the nation. I am eager to continue my career in public service as your Police Commissioner. Thank you.