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Davis defends his record on diversity

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Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis decried the state’s reliance on civil service exams for police hiring and aggressively defended his record on diversity Thursday, trying to defuse an issue that took central stage in the Boston mayor’s race this week.

Davis repeatedly pointed to the diversity of his hand-picked command staff and the $2 million he set aside to administer a revised civil service test as evidence of his commitment to a racially diverse police force. The test, which relies strictly on multiple-choice answers and does not take into account leadership skills, has long been criticized for hampering efforts to diversify police forces.

“When are the mayor and I going to get some credit for the work we’ve done?” Davis asked in a Globe interview.

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