Police Commissioner Edward Davis to resign; minority law enforcement group pleased with decision

Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis will announce his resignation and future plans at a Monday press conference at police headquarters, according to the department and a person close to Davis who has been briefed on his plans.

Davis is stepping aside to pursue other opportunities that have not yet been finalized, but Davis has plans to teach part-time at Harvard, according to the source.

It is not yet known when the resignation will be effective.

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Mayor Thomas M. Menino said in a statement that he will work with Davis “to make sure there is a smooth transition as a new mayor comes into office to find their own full time replacement for police commissioner.”

The leadership of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers — which has long called for Davis’ resignation due to a lack of diversity among the department’s higher ranks — said they were pleased by the news of the resignation.

“I think it’s the right thing for him to do in terms of the city being able to move forward,” said Larry Ellison, president of MAMLEO, which passed a vote of no confidence and publicly called for Davis’ resignation earlier this year.

While Davis has long boasted that he has kept one of the most diverse senior leadership teams in department history, MAMLEO often points out that there are no district commanders of color and that the bulk of the department’s officers are white men.

“Hopefully we’ll have a police commissioner coming in who is focused on all members, and not just a few,” he said.

Several of the 12 Boston mayoral candidates have issued statements praising Davis’ tenure leading BPD, declaring that he leaves “big shoes to fill,” and noting that his departure will allow the opportunity for the city’s next mayor to consider hiring a police commissioner of color.

Mayoral candidate Dan Conley, who, as the Suffolk District Attorney has worked closely with Davis, said that many would remember Davis’ tenure for his leadership during the Marathon bombings, but added that he “was a smart, attentive, and decisive leader throughout his tenure.”

“I had expressed my wish to see Ed continue on as Commissioner were I to be elected Mayor,” Conley said in a statement. “In finding a replacement for Ed Davis, the bar has been set very, very high.”

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