Boston appoints first African American police commissioner

Marcony Almeida


Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of William Gross as the City of Boston’s first African American Commissioner of the Boston Police Department (BPD), who will assume the duties and responsibilities of Commissioner William B. Evans who is set to retire from the Boston Police Department on Saturday, August 4. Gross currently serve as as Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police Department.

“On behalf of the City of Boston I want to thank Commissioner Evans for his lifetime of service in keeping the residents of Boston safe,” said Mayor Walsh. “The role of Police Commissioner is not an easy one, but is one that can make a tremendous impact in our neighborhoods. Under Commissioner Evans, the Boston Police Department has been a national model for community relations, for youth outreach and for making our neighborhoods safe. He is one of the best commissioners in the country and one of the best in Boston’s history.”

“This decision to leave the Boston Police Department was one of the most difficult of my life,” said Commissioner Evans. “I am incredibly proud of all the work we’ve done over the last four years to make Boston safe for our residents, and my heart and soul will always be with the Boston Police Department. This is the place where I got my start as a cadet, and rose through the ranks to Commissioner, and I will always be grateful to the Mayor and the men and women of the Boston Police Department who put their trust and faith in me and allowed for me to live out my dreams.”

As of August 5, Superintendent Gross will serve as interim Commissioner until he is formally sworn in as Commissioner. A swearing in ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. “Superintendent Gross is a proven leader who is trusted and respected in the community and by his colleagues in the Boston Police Department,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am proud to appoint him as the first African American Police Commissioner for the City of Boston. Superintendent Gross is a product of our neighborhoods, and has a deep understanding of our communities, and connection to our people. I look forward to continuing our important work ahead to make sure all residents and neighborhoods in Boston remain safe.”

“It has been my life’s work to serve the community that shaped me and keep people safe in every neighborhood, and I am honored and grateful to be able to continue that work as Boston’s Police Commissioner,” said Gross. “I want to thank Mayor Walsh for his support and for this opportunity, Commissioner Evans for his leadership and friendship, and the community for who I would not be here today without.”



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