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The new command staff joined in saluting the national anthem during the Mattapan ceremony.
The new command staff joined in saluting the national anthem during the Mattapan ceremony. (Wendy Maeda for the Boston Globe)

A day for new police brass to shine

Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis's shake-up of his command staff became official yesterday, as the department's newly promoted superintendents and deputy superintendents were sworn in during a 40-minute ceremony marked by bagpipers and the police honor guard.

Since Davis announced the promotions two weeks ago, the changes have been criticized by Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, who decried the removal of the chief of homicide, and by Hispanic community leaders, who protested the demotion of the department's highest-ranking Latina official.

Yesterday, none of that controversy was evident at the Mildred Avenue Middle School and Community Center in Mattapan, where more than 125 relatives, friends, and the Police Department's brass applauded and cheered as three superintendents and four deputy superintendents were pinned with their new badges.

"You all have excellent records and reputations in the community," Davis told the police officers gathered on the stage of the center's auditorium. "I'm sure each of you will be up to the challenge" of the new positions.

Conley was not present at the ceremony, which was followed by a small reception featuring soda, cookies, and brownies. Conley's spokesman, Jake Wark, said the prosecutor's absence had nothing to do with any disappointment over the changes.

"He attends some, but not others," Wark said.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who has praised the promotions, said that while statistics in the city show overall that shootings are down, the Police Department's new leaders must work to reduce them even more.

"We're not satisfied, Commissioner Davis is not satisfied, . . . and you shouldn't be satisfied either," he said. "We have a good department in Boston, working hard every day."

Afterward, newly sworn Deputy Superintendent Daniel P. Linskey said he felt honored.

"I will do everything in my power not to disappoint the commissioner, the men and women of the department, and the community," he said.

Promoted yesterday were Superintendent in Chief Robert P. Dunford; Superintendent Kenneth Fong, who will oversee the Internal Affairs Division and the Police Academy; and Linskey, who will oversee patrol officers. Sworn in as deputy superintendents were Nora Baston, who will oversee the expansion of the department's Safe Streets Team; John Daley, who will handle 911 operations; Norman Hill, who will oversee administrative hearings; and Earl Perkins, who will be in charge of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center. Deputy Superintendent Kelley McCormick, who was sworn in last week and did not attend yesterday's ceremony, will handle antiterrorism efforts.

Maria Cramer can be reached at mcramer@globe.com.

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