Boston’s Davis Projected Reassuring Presence In City On Edge After Bombings


Amid the turmoil of a shoot-out followed by a massive dragnet last week, Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis cut through the confusion with spare, declarative words, at once a warning and a clear expression of ­resolve. “We believe this to be a terrorist,'' Davis told reporters at 4:30 a.m. Friday. “We ­believe this to be a man here to kill people.” With the world's attention focused on the deadly ­Marathon bombings, ­Davis has had several high-profile moments in the crisis. By many accounts, reports the Boston Globe he projected a measured, reassuring presence to a city, and nation, on edge, balancing the need to avoid public panic with the gravity of a fatal terrorist ­attack.

For those who know Davis well, his turn in the national spotlight reflects a law enforcement philosophy centered on keeping the public informed, as well as an even-keeled personality. “He has a grace under pressure, and he brings that temperament to very stressful situations,” said Chuck Wexler of the Police Executive ­Research Forum. “Nothing really fazes him.” Wexler, who has known ­Davis for 20 years, said Davis has the respect of federal agencies, a huge asset in investigations of this scope and complexity, and has a consistency that serves him well in the camera's glare. “There's very little difference between the private Ed Davis and the public Ed Davis,” said Wexler. Davis is a career police officer, who worked as a beat cop and detective in the sex crimes unit before becoming superintendent in Lowell, Ma. During his 12-year tenure before coming to Boston in 2006, violent crime dropped more than 60 percent, according to one report.

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