The Mayor’s Public Safety Initiative

Police Chief Terence Reardon has vacated his seat at the police station with a letter to the mayor indicating that he will return to become a Civil Service captain the department he has led for a decade.

This was a difficult move for the chief. He is a proud man but his time had come.

Mayor Dan Rizzo was hoping he would step down.

He has met the new mayor’s demand.

Mayor Rizzo has named Lt. Joseph Cafarelli as acting chief and the likelihood that Cafarelli will be named the chief by the mayor is all about speculation that will probably show itself to be true.

The mayor’s hope and ambition is that the Revere Police Department will totally reorganize itself and that morale will rise as a result of changes being made intended to empower the police with new leadership at the headquarters and among the command staff.

Prior to naming Cafarelli, the mayor made a point of speaking with many officers now serving in order to determine what exactly he needed to do to reinvigorate the police department.

With Reardon’s departure from the chief’s position, that process has begun.

If Cafarelli is indeed the mayor’s choice, he faces a big job in remaking the police department.

Many of the younger officers are disenchanted. The command staff is almost nearly without orders coming from above. The men and women officers in the street have virtually no guidance from superior officers serving by their side.

Many longer term officers have developed the belief that change is hopeless.

And there is the reality that the former chief will be around to do his thing as a command captain and this fact makes leadership that more difficult for the new chief as the former chief has his allies on the police force.

However, there is always the likelihood that they will work together well.

So it will be up to the mayor to take the heat and to foster the changes that must be made.

Everyone in the station must be reminded that it is the mayor who runs the city as well as the police department and that the chief serves for the mayor, the department and for the people of this city.

The systemic problems at headquarters are about to get an airing out.

Some councilors have said they are disappointed in the way the mayor has acted without them in making the acting chief’s appointment. It would have been far better if the council had called for the changes the mayor is now daring to make.

The mayor is showing leadership. Everyone in this city should approve of that including the police.

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