MAMLEO responds to Open Letter from BPD Commissioner Davis:
Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers, Inc.
61 Columbia Road, Dorchester, MA 02121
Phone: 617-436-6868 Fax: 617-825-5961
Dear Commissioner Ed Davis,
We are responding to the letter you made available to the public. First, we want to say we are in total agreement with you regarding the great number of professional, dedicated officers on the Boston Police Department. This is the only thing The Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers can agree with you on. We were extremely surprised to see the leader of the Capital city police department resort to Facebook and Twitter to deliver his message. First, let me start by disputing your assertion that few minority candidates are at the top of the civil service list.
In October of 2008 you had an opportunity to promote (2) African-American Sergeants and a white-female (Sgt. Det. Robert Tinker, Sgt. John Johnson Sgt. Christine McKenna) who were tied atop of the civil service list, but you failed to do so, hence allowing them to remain sergeants. You instead promoted two white-males to the rank of Lieutenant. Civil Service did not hamper you then.
In June 2013 again you had an opportunity to name an African-American Lieutenant to the rank of Captain, but again you decided to go with your gut and promote a white male to the position of Acting Captain. Civil Service did not hamper you then either. Commissioner Davis you’ve talked plenty about the Department’s commitment to diversity, but yet we think the public should judge you on your body of work. As recent as last month (August 2013) you thought it would be a great idea to promote 4 white-males and 1 white-female to the rank of Sergeant even though there were nine officers of color with exactly the same mark atop the Civil Service list. You promoted 2 African-American Sergeants only and after you were confronted by the Herald, City Councilors Ross, Yancey and MAMLEO. Again, Civil Service did not hamper you.
In reference to the upcoming Civil Service Promotional Exam slated for June of 2014. Commissioner Davis, we urge you not to invoke minority officers as a reason you are trying to “fast track” an exam that will be subjective in nature and will only lend to more nepotism in a department riddled with it. MAMLEO, alike all the unions, oppose the make-up of the exam you are trying to introduce. We prefer that the next exam be devised by the incoming administration.
According to BPD statistics (which we have attached PDF Updated demographics stats for diversity council 8 12) 35% of the patrol force is minority and 65% is white, while the latest City of Boston Census available illustrates that 53% of the city is minority and 47% white.
You tout your command staff as being 42% people of color and also appointing the first Hispanic Captain. In setting the record straight, you did not appoint Alfredo Andres Captain; he attained that rank through hard work. As far as appointing Deputies which you do have the authority to do, we agree you have done so, but they are all Assistant Bureau Chiefs. Your administration, much like Mayor Menino’s, does not have anyone of color as a Bureau Chief. All the Deputies you tout do not command their respective Bureaus. The only Superintendent you have appointed is William Gross and he is a night-superintendent who is extremely popular with the troops and the community.
As far as appointments to district stations and specialized units, you bring up a great topic of discussion. Since coming to the BPD from Lowell PD we’ve been trying to get your attention regarding the segregation of certain districts like D-4 (South End) and E-13 (Jamaica Plain). The South End has approximately 130 officers assigned to it with less than 2% minority, while Jamaica Plain is the complete opposite, comprised of mostly Latino officers. MAMLEO hardly believes this to be a coincidence.
Commissioner Davis you describe how you continually appoint “qualified” minority officers to specialized units. Really? The Drug Control Unit reads as follow: 69% White, 20% Black, 10% Hispanic and 1% Asian. The Gang Unit is 64% White, 26% Black, 10% Hispanic and 0% Asian. The Homicide Unit is 64% White, 22% Black, 14% Hispanic and 0% Asian.
If these numbers do not grip you Commissioner may we also add that there are less than 5% minority supervisors in all the aforementioned units. There is 1 supervisor of color in the Gang Unit and that took an eternity to accomplish. The Drug Unit boasts 1 Latino supervisor, 2 Black supervisors and 0 Asian supervisors. Female supervisors and patrol officers in specialized units are almost non-existent.
Lastly, Commissioner Davis we’d like to point out that MAMLEO has been trying to get your attention since 2007 to no avail. We have been part of your now defunct “Diversity Council” which has not met in in approximately 9 months. You call this a commitment to diversity and equality? We have asked on numerous occasions to have a seat at the table without much success. If anyone needs to take ownership of the divisiveness it is you Commissioner. Your lack of vision and progressiveness should not be condoned by OUR community, let alone by our nation.
As for Mr. Melvin Miller’s article in the Bay State Banner you really have to take into consideration the source. Mr. Miller was given a $200k loan by Mayor Menino in July of 2009 which some have estimated has reached $350,000. Which begs the question, who wrote the article anyway?
MAMLEO continues to provide civil service entry level and promotional test prep training, karate school for kids and youth enrichment programs such as anti-bullying and gang prevention just to name a few. We continue to have our summer youth outing, turkey handouts during Thanksgiving and toys during the Holiday season. What has Mr. Miller done for his community lately?
Commissioner in closing, I would just like to say that our organization would have loved a working relationship with your administration, but from day one you made it clear you were going to treat minority officers in Boston the same way you treated them in Lowell. We don’t think MAMLEO is part of the problem as you suggest, but wholeheartedly we insist MAMLEO is part of the solution. One cannot lead if he is not allowed to do so. MAMLEO has been and will continue to be the fabric and glue that holds the minority community together.
On behalf of all MAMLEO members and our partners in the community we hope this conversation may continue under a different forum.
Larry Ellison, President