Davis leaving police commissioner post

Ed Davis will be stepping down from the helm of the Boston Police Department before the end of the year after seven years as its commissioner. The announcement came on Monday, a day before voters went to the polls to choose the top two vote-getters in the race to succeed Mayor Thomas Menino.

In a statement, Menino said that Davis has served the city’s residents well. “Under the commissioner’s watch, serious and violent crime in the city of Boston has decreased substantially,” the mayor said. “His focus on community policing has empowered our residents and increased community trust, positioning our officers as residents’ allies in making our neighborhoods safer. During some of our city’s most trying days, Commissioner Davis worked relentlessly to protect the safety of all our citizens.”

Over the last year, Davis drew praise for his steady demeanor in days after the Boston Marathon bombings and criticism from the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers (MAMLEO), a group that frequently argued the make-up of the police department did not reflect the diversity of the city.

In his first few months on the job, Davis unveiled a revamp of the department’s command structure, putting 12 districts in 3 zones and naming new superintendents. “Our mission is to drive down shootings and the attendant homicides and we’re going to concentrate on that,” Davis told the Reporter at the time. “When it comes to deployment decisions, we’re going to concentrate on saving lives. People will have parochial interests in various areas and everyone wants to see a policeman on the corner, but people are dying and we have to address that.”

Before he was appointed Boston police commissioner in 2006, Davis headed up Lowell’s police department for 12 years. He started as a patrolman in Lowell in 1978 and eventually rising to captain in 1992.

In the statement, Menino said he and Davis, who has said he is weighing what he will do next, will work to “ensure a smooth transition as a new mayor is elected” and appoints his own commissioner for the department. In Davis’s case, an advisory committee spent five months searching for candidates for the position, and announced him as the pick in October 2006.