I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the police department I have called home for seven years. I especially want to express my gratitude to those of you who have been willing to embrace change with me and try new ways of doing business and improving outcomes.
The command staff has engaged in real problem solving, as have civilians, supervisors and officers on the streets. This department is full of incredible talent, intelligence, and experienced leadership.
This hard work has paid off – together we have decreased Part One crime by nearly 30% over the last seven years. This is a tremendous accomplishment for which you should all be very proud.
When I first took over the department, the department was facing some real challenges, but together we have made incredible strides. The City of Boston is safer, officers are better trained, supported, and equipped with the tools and strategies they need to make them successful. And stronger relationships have been built with the community we serve.
This has been accomplished by prioritizing community policing, using crime and intelligence data to focus efforts, implementing policies and procedures to improve overall organizational effectiveness, leveraging technology, and emphasizing the importance of integrity in everything we do.
Along the way you have faced challenges, and experienced tragedies. But you have come through them a stronger and better department. As I look back over the last seven years, some highlights stand out.
Safe Street Teams have expanded from a pilot program to a citywide strategy, with 14 teams. These teams have contributed to double digit decreases in crime in their neighborhoods.
Newly accredited and re-accredited forensics units are working with Cold Case squads to solve decades old crimes and bring closure to their families.
The Real Time Crime Center was created, and is now synching Shotspotter with surveillance cameras, and utilizing GPS to enhance investigations.
The BRIC continues to be a national model, and is getting more and better information into the field than ever before.
We have followed through on constructing new police facilities despite the recession, and most importantly, we have been able to maintain sworn staffing levels due to the commitment of Mayor Menino.
Social media is working extremely well, and indeed was spotlighted during the Marathon bombing as “the” go to source for information by the worldwide media.
The department has increased professional development across the board by implementing eLearning, building a mock trial courtroom, and dedicating significant time and monetary resources to training.
There is a renewed emphasis on health and wellness of our officers – both physical and mental, including debriefings for returning veterans and post-incident. And there is a new emphasis on highlighting and paying homage to the history of BPD through dedicated historian staff.
New partnerships have been formed with corporate businesses, leading to fun and meaningful interactions between police and children such as Shop with a Cop and Operation Hoodsie Cup. These partnerships also resulted in the Text-a-Tip program.
In addition, many more neighborhood watches have been formed, police are engaging with youth in facilitated dialogues, and homicide survivor families receive support from advocates and at annual cookouts and holiday parties.
Partnerships with federal agencies have been solidified, and the BPD is constantly hosting visiting dignitaries and officials from across the country and the world, looking for better ways of doing business.
Uniformed patrol and POP platoons have ensured safe and successful celebrations for our championship teams – the Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox. And you have ensured this same safety during playoff and championship losses for these teams as well as the Patriots.
You dealt successfully with Occupy Boston, when many others cities did not. And you provided security and dignitary protection for Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral – an event hosting President Obama and literally hundreds of Senators and other high ranking government officials.
And lastly, the bravery and heroism displayed by the members of the Boston Police Department during the Boston Marathon bombing was unwavering.
Countless lives were saved as a result of quick acting officers working with other first responders and citizens to treat and transport the wounded to area hospitals, without regard for their own safety.
The excellence, professionalism and dedication by the entire department in partnership with many other agencies in the days following the bombing brought the terrorists to justice in under 102 hours.
During these frantic days the whole world was watching, and the Boston Police rose to the occasion.
I am very proud to have been your Police Commissioner. The Boston Police Department is the finest in the country, and I have enjoyed working with all of you – sworn and civilian – in serving this city. I will be in the Boston area in the private and academic sectors, and will remain very interested in what innovations in policing will come out of the Boston Police Department next.
I will truly miss leading this tremendous team of dedicated public servants, and I wish the Boston Police Department continued success. Thank you.
Edward F. Davis