Wellesley, Mass., Police Chief Terrence M. Cunningham, who gained national attention last month when he apologized for historical injustices police have perpetrated against minorities, will leave the suburban Boston department to become deputy executive director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, reports the Boston Globe. Cunningham, who recently finished a year-long position as president of the Virginia-based professional group, has served as chief in Wellesley since 1999. “It’s a tough, tough decision,” Cunningham said. “Yesterday was my 17-year anniversary as chief. . . We’ve got one of the best departments in the country here. I think I leave it in a really good place.”
In the final days of his tenure as association president, Cunningham delivered an address at the group’s national conference in San Diego in which he called policing a “noble profession,” but said it was entwined with America’s history of racism and oppression. “This dark side of our shared history has created a multigenerational — almost inherited — mistrust between many communities of color and their law enforcement agencies,” Cunningham said. “While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear we must change the future.” Cunningham grew up in Wellesley and graduated from the police academy in 1983. Cunningham said he will focus on improving community-police relations in his new position.