How is Boston Police Chief Ed Davis doing in his new job?
Ed Davis, who engineered a drop in violent crime of more than 50 percent in Lowell over the past dozen years by pushing officers to walk beats, received the offer over the weekend, said the advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to allow the mayor to make the public announcement.
That announcement has been scheduled for today.
Mayor Thomas M. Menino is poised to name longtime Lowell Police Superintendent Edward Davis, a strong proponent of community policing, as the next police commissioner of Boston, two advisers connected to City Hall said yesterday.
The decision ends an extremely secretive, highly structured, and widespread search that, in the end, focused largely on finalists outside of the Boston Police Department a sign that Menino is looking for aggressive change at police headquarters during one of the bloodiest years in his tenure as mayor.
Among others strongly considered by the mayor, according to the advisers, were Charles Ramsey, police chief of Washington, D.C., and Bernard Melekian, police chief in Pasadena, Calif. Ramsey, who is black, was hesitant to leave Washington and was never offered the job.
Menino also seriously considered two ranking Boston Police Department insiders — Robert Dunford, the head of patrol, and Paul Joyce, who leads all investigative units, one of the advisers said.
Menino, reached by phone last night, declined to comment.
In Davis, 50, Menino has selected a leader from the new school of police executives, someone who believes preventing crime is more effective than rapidly responding to it. Davis has given more authority to the patrol officers who deal regularly with the community, encourages ranking officers to voice their opinions, and demands that all members work with other city agencies — the inspectional services and public works departments, for example — to clean up neighborhoods. He has also instituted crime-tracking analysis of the kind made famous by William Bratton while Bratton was police commissioner in New York in the 1990s.
Davis, a 6-foot-6-inch, 28-year veteran of the force, is the son of a Lowell police officer. His brother works as a Lowell police sergeant. His wife is the daughter of a Tewksbury officer.
“He’s only from 20 miles down the road, but that makes him an outsider with a great deal of knowledge of the political and justice systems here,” one mayoral adviser said yesterday.
Reached last night on his cellphone, Davis declined to comment. But in an interview with a Globe reporter in July, he summed up part of his philosophy and strategy: “Criminals get comfortable. We took that away by being highly visible on the street and cracking down on the small things. It was interesting to see how the number of felonies would go down in a neighborhood where we ticketed more for moving violations.”
Good Luck Ed Davis as Boston Police Chief.