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City of Boston Provides Update on Police Commissioner Search Process

With the release of the description and application for the position, the Search Committee will now set their sights on identifying the candidate that can fulfill the responsibilities and qualifications set forth by the community.

Following three months of community listening sessions, the Boston Police Commissioner Search Committee today released an application and job description for the position, calling for candidates prepared to “lead the City’s police department in this new era for public safety.” The Committee also announced the hiring of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) as the Committee's executive search partners. The deadline to apply for Boston Police Commissioner is May 13, 2022.

“I’m grateful to every resident and community member who shared feedback, and to our Search Committee for shaping that into a clear picture of what Boston needs in our next Police Commissioner,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I look forward to the next steps in moving forward our urgent and thorough search.”

The Search Committee is chaired by retired Justice Geraldine Hines of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The other members are former Commissioner Ed Davis of the Boston Police Department, Executive Director Abrigal Forrester of Teen Empowerment, Senior Pastor Bishop William E. Dickerson II of Greater Love Tabernacle Church, and Professor of Law and Deputy Director of Research & Policy Jasmine Gonzales Rose of the Center of Anti-Racist Research at Boston University. The Committee drafted the job description informed by the comments and ideas generated during public and stakeholder listening sessions. With the job description, the Committee will now work with PERF to build a diverse applicant pool and begin conducting interviews.

The job description released today reflects input from Boston residents gathered from a broad community survey, public listening sessions, and extensive stakeholder engagement. The job description calls for a leader with the ability to build long-lasting, positive relationships with racially and culturally diverse communities of Boston, and committed to antiracist practices; one who will set meaningful standards of accountability, transparency, and excellence within the Department and the community; a trustworthy steward of safety and security in all Boston’s neighborhoods; a strong manager who can navigate complicated financial and institutional challenges; and a thought leader who brings an enthusiasm to meeting our current moment to reimagine policing through innovative public safety strategies. 

"I thank the hundreds of Bostonians and my colleagues on the Search Committee who have worked to draft this job description and set the contours of our search for the next leader of the Boston Police Department,” said Justice Geraldine Hines. “We are committed to identifying candidates who are prepared to serve in this pivotal moment, to partner with the community, build trust and accountability, and advance essential reforms. We look forward to working with PERF and conducting a rigorous and thorough process to present finalists to Mayor Wu who will serve the people of Boston in this important capacity.”

The Search Committee’s public engagement process began with two public listening sessions–one on January 20, 2022 and one on January 26, 2022--and a multilingual community survey. The Search Committee also met with many community stakeholders to inform the hiring process, including representatives from Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (MAMLEO), representatives from Latino Law Enforcement Group of Boston (LLEGO), leadership of the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation, the Boston Police Detectives Benevolent Society, and the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association, civilian staff, former and current female-identifying officers in the Police Department, youth groups in Boston, members of the Boston City Council, criminal justice and police reform experts, representatives from several immigrant-serving community organizations, members of the former Boston Police Reform Task Force, former Chiefs of Police from from Boston and other major U.S. cities, and City representatives from various offices, including the Office of Returning Citizens, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement, and the Office of Black Male Advancement.

The Search Committee will work with PERF to build a diverse candidate pool and begin conducting interviews. Founded in 1976 as a nonprofit organization, PERF is a police research and policy organization and the premier executive search firm in the country for law enforcement agencies. In 2021, PERF supported the search for a new Commissioner of Police in Louisville, Kentucky and a new Chief of Police for the United States Capitol Police, following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Specifically assisting the search are executive search consultants Rebecca Neuburger and Charlotte Lansinger; PERF CEO Chuck Wexler, a Boston native; and Dr. Nikki Smith-Kea, PhD, who will assist PERF in building a candidate pool that meets the standards and challenges laid out by the residents of Boston.

“We are excited to work together with Mayor Wu, Justice Hines, and the Search Committee to build a diverse candidate pool that reflects the vision of Boston’s residents for a bold and innovative Police Commissioner,” said PERF CEO Chuck Wexler. “PERF is looking forward to bringing our experience identifying and placing strong, cutting-edge leaders in policing to help find the right match for Boston.” 

With the release of the description and application for the position, the Search Committee will now set their sights on identifying the candidate that can fulfill the responsibilities and qualifications set forth by the community.

The search for the Boston Police Commissioner is a critical step in achieving reforms and stability in the nation’s oldest municipal law enforcement agency. Superintendent-in-Chief Gregory P. Long is currently serving as Acting Commissioner and will remain in the role until a permanent Commissioner is appointed. Commissioner Long is also serving as an advisor to the Search Committee.

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