Lowell, Ma., Police Superintendent Edward Davis, a strong proponent of community policing, will be named Boston police commissioner today, reports the Boston Globe. Davis engineered a drop in violent crime of more than 50 percent in Lowell over the past dozen years by pushing officers to walk beats. The search for commissioner focused largely on finalists outside of the Boston Police Department — a sign that Mayor Thomas Menino is looking for aggressive change at police headquarters during one of the bloodiest years in his tenure as mayor. Among others strongly considered by the mayor were chiefs Charles Ramsey of Washington, D.C., and Bernard Melekian of Pasadena, Ca.
In Davis, 50, Menino selected a leader from the new school of police executives who believes preventing crime is more effective than rapidly responding to it. Davis has given more authority to the patrol officers who deal regularly with the community, encourages ranking officers to voice their opinions, and demands that all members work with other city agencies to clean up neighborhoods. He has also instituted crime-tracking analysis of the kind made famous by William Bratton while Bratton was police commissioner in New York in the 1990s. Davis, a 6-foot-6-inch, 28-year veteran of the force, is the son of a Lowell police officer. His brother works as a Lowell police sergeant.