Boston Mayor Wu now interviews police commissioner finalists

The panel responsible for identifying candidates to become Boston police commissioner has submitted a list of four finalists to Mayor Michelle Wu, putting the city’s search for a top cop into its final stages.

Retired Supreme Court Judicial Justice Geraldine Hines, who chairs the search committee, said the panel sent a letter notifying the mayor of its list of finalists on Friday. The list was compiled after a confidential interview process that narrowed a pool of 42 applicants down to around a dozen who were interviewed twice.

The retired judge declined to release the names of those advancing, citing confidentiality concerns that could discourage candidates from moving forward. The candidates, she said, are “a mix” in terms of ethnicity, gender and internal and external to the BPD.

“They represent the job description,” Hines said when asked about the pool’s qualifications. “Transformational leaders who care about the community and the interests of the community.”

The city released the commissioner’s job description in April after a series of community input meetings.

Wu was clear about appointing a change-oriented commissioner despite the police department’s history of resistance to reforms.

The department has been without a permanent head since former commissioner Dennis White was furloughed last February after domestic abuse allegations from the 1990s resurfaced days after he was sworn in. White was officially removed from his post last June, and Chief Superintendent Gregory Long has served as acting commissioner since then.

Besides the lack of a permanent leadership, the BPD has been hit by several scandals in recent years, including the investigation of an officer for potential involvement in the January 6 attack.e Capitol insurrection; several scathing headlines about a former officer and now convicted child molester, Patrick Rose; and damning video footage of a police sergeant discussing running over protesters with a car during the 2020 protests against racial injustice.

The issue of unjust killings of black people is part of the definition of the commissioner’s job description.

The assignment calls for candidates with “a proven track record in delivering innovative, community-centered, reform-focused solutions to advance public safety,” as well as the management skills necessary to “address and solve problems and practices of inequality and discrimination, and to implement reforms. ”

Hines declined to discuss the questions the panel asked the candidates to explore those qualities.

Mayor Wu will now review the list and interview the finalists, according to the press office.

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