After coming under fire for withholding the names of five officers caught driving drunk, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans is vowing from now on to let the public know whenever an officer is arrested, the Boston Globe reports. The change comes after the Globe reported that Boston police refused to release the names of officers who were charged with operating under the influence while off duty, even though the department has posted the names of many citizens arrested for similar violations on its website.
Evans said the new policy of transparency will apply to future cases only and won't be retroactive. The department will continue to withhold the names of officers arrested for drunken driving in past years but would release the names if any officers are arrested in the future. “We are trying to be as transparent as possible,” Evans said. “We have nothing to hide here.” He noted the police already posted brief items on the department's website after a Boston police officer was recently charged with attacking an Uber driver. Free speech advocates applauded Evans's decision to make future arrests public. “Whatever rules apply to civilians should apply to police officers as well,” said Carol Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. “No one is above the law.”