BPD Remembers Springfield Police Dept’s 1st African-American Police Officer and Father of former US Attorney Wayne Budd

BPD Remembers Springfield Police Department’s 1st African American Police Officer and Father of former US Attorney Wayne Budd: Today, Monday, April 23, 2018, Commissioner William Evans and Chief William Gross invited former US Attorney Wayne Budd and his sister, Penny Grayer, to Boston Police Headquarters to present them with a portrait of their father, Joseph Anthony Budd, the first African-American police officer in the history of the Springfield Police Department. After serving his country in the United States Marine Corps during World War II, Joseph Anthony Budd returned home and became the first African-American member of the Springfield Police Department in 1947. Said his son, Wayne, “He loved being a police officer. Loved serving his community.”

Thirty years later, Budd’s father would retire as a captain in 1977. Yet, despite the long, accomplished career, the Budd family didn’t have any photos of their father in his police uniform. Knowing a portrait, dedicated to Springfield Police Captain Joseph Anthony Budd, hung inside the walls of the BPD’s Family Justice Center located at 989 Commonwealth Ave in Brighton, the family inquired about the possibility securing a copy of the portrait.  

When the Family Justice Center, which was created to help people impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse, first opened its doors in 2006, a portrait of Captain Joseph Anthony Budd was unveiled to pay tribute to his distinguished career and collaborative approach to policing. Said Wayne Budd, “Of the many issues my father believed in and stood for during his career as a police officer, protecting children was the issue most near and dear to his heart.”

When Chief Gross learned about the Budd family’s desire to obtain a copy of their father’s portrait, as you can see by the enclosed images, the request was warmly received and eagerly provided. Said Chief Gross, “We were more than happy to oblige the Budd family’s request. Personally, I feel a tremendous debt of gratitude and connection to Captain Joseph Budd. In becoming the first African-American police captain in Springfield in the seventies, he most definitely paved the way and laid the groundwork for leaders of color like me. So, when I heard the family was hoping to obtain a portrait of their father, providing that portrait was a no-brainer.”

Said Wayne Budd, “My family and I can’t thank Commissioner Evans, Chief Gross and the entire Boston Police Department enough for taking the time and going out of their way to honor my father, his legacy and our family. Having this portrait of him means so much to us. And, we are so very grateful to all who made this moment possible.”