Boston Chief Taps Leaders To “Think Outside Box”


New Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole announced a sweeping reorganization of her command staff yesterday, the Boston Globe reports. O’Toole named new leaders for the detective, homicide, and internal investigation units, promoted several women and members of minority groups, and created a family justice division incorporating domestic and sexual assault investigations. She said that her command staff will now be populated by those who “think outside the box.” Of the department’s eight superintendents, three are now African-American. Some 13 deputy superintendents now include three African-American men, one Latino woman, and four white women. O’Toole expaned the police academy’s focus from training to career development. She consolidated the special operations division, which includes the SWAT team, K-9 units, mounted patrol, and harbor patrol, among others, with the uniformed officer division.

Emulating an idea from San Diego, O’Toole is grouping “intimate crimes” such as domestic and sexual assaults under one unit. She tapped Lieutenant Detective Margot H. Hill from the domestic violence unit to run the new family justice division and promoted her to deputy superintendent. The move is in keeping with a joint effort by police and the Suffolk district attorney’s office to open a family justice center this spring, where domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse victims can find police, prosecutors, social workers, and doctors under one roof.

Former police commissioner Paul F. Evans had applauded Hill for revamping the department’s approach to domestic violence with a three-pronged approach using technology, investigations, and accountability.


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