By Suffolk County Law Enforcement Executive
On Thursday, June 18th at the invitation of Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, a group of law enforcement executives from Greater Boston met together at the Parkman House on Beacon Hill to begin what will be a series of ongoing, open, honest and in-depth dialogues. All of our discussions will focus on the extremely important societal issues facing the country today involving the intersection of race, ethnicity, justice, and equality with the 21st Century community policing philosophy in existence in Suffolk County and across the Commonwealth.
The assembled group of criminal justice leaders included DA Rachael Rollins, First Assistant DA Daniel Mulhern, the Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Chris Mason, MBTA Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green and Police Chiefs from Suffolk County including current Revere Police Chief James Guido, newly named Revere Police Chief David Callahan, Winthrop Police Chief Terry Delehanty, Winthrop Police Deputy Chief John Goodwin, Chelsea Police Captain David Batchelor and Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes. Boston Police Commissioner William Gross was committed at another event but has indicated that he will be involved in all future discussions moving forward.
In the midst of intense national instability and ongoing uncertainty due to a global pandemic, with a major impact in the communities of Suffolk County, compounded by the tragic public murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis as well as other recent tragedies across the country involving the police, the group agreed that there is much work to be done in order to prevent and ensure that these heartbreaking incidents never happen in our Commonwealth and for the greater community to be allowed to heal as well.
With this in mind, the specific purpose of the meeting was to initiate a comprehensive discussion aimed at creating innovative and constructive solutions to bridge gaps that may exist that prevent fulfilling the missions of both the police and prosecutors. We hope to move the dial in a positive direction in terms of promoting and enhancing trust and confidence and a renewed spirit of cooperation with every neighborhood within Suffolk County, and particularly those that come into contact most frequently with law enforcement. 2
The foundational topics of importance that were initially discussed included:
· _building and improving positive community relations with the police;
· _practicing fair and impartial policing strategies;
· _ensuring applications of procedural justice in all interactions with members of the public;
· _ensuring racial and social justice as well as equality for all in the realms of the entire criminal justice system in Suffolk County.
The consensus of the group was that only by engaging in difficult and uncomfortable dialogue on these topics and actively listening to one another in order to voice collective concerns, fears, disappointments, and frustrations will the group be able to make a lasting and impactful difference in the road to reform.
The assembled leaders agreed that there is a significant and justified demand for profound, immediate and lasting change during this critical time in our history across the state and beyond. These changes must be in both policing and prosecutorial philosophies. It is this group’s collective duty to rise to the occasion and work together in a committed and dedicated fashion to meet that challenge and work towards creating a model for the entire state and nation to replicate and build upon.
The time is now for leaders to lead and the Suffolk County Criminal Justice Leadership Group is prepared and committed to meet that challenge and provide a roadmap for healing and success.
Chief Brian Kyes,
Commissioner William Gross, Boston Police Department
Coronel Christopher Mason, Massachusetts State Police
Chief Kenneth Green, MBTA Transit Police Department
Chief James Guido,
Chief David Callahan, Revere Police
Rachael Rollins, Suffolk County District Attorney
Chief Terence Delehanty, Winthrop Police