On THE POLICE CHIEF SEARCH
I am writing in reference to the recent announcement by Mayor Arrigo that he would not be renewing Chief Cafarelli’s contract. Now keep in mind, Mayor Arrigo said from the beginning that a job wouldn’t be given out to someone just because they held a sign or knocked on doors for him. It will be interesting to see whom he picks considering he has three senior police officers who spent their summer nights knocking on doors with him during the election. But that’s not even what frustrates me the most- I can deal with political banter and broken promises. What I cannot deal with is the removal of a good Police Chief who represented this community with honor and distinction.
When the Mayor was asked why he was being let go, he allegedly said that he wanted someone “who could work with the immigrant population”. Huh?
To go back, it should be known that Chief Cafarelli had no ties to Mayor Rizzo prior to being appointed. In fact, Chief Cafarelli had no political ties to any politician. He was just a seasoned cop who came to work every day to do his job.
I remember being at one public meeting where Mayor Rizzo stated how proud he was to take politics out of the police department. But unfortunately, today, it seems we digress.
You can look back on fiveyears under Chief Cafarelli- no scandal; no public disgraces; The Revere police was finally off of the 6 o’clock news.
Can someone explain to me what Chief Cafarelli did to lose his job? He is a decorated Marine, has a long history of law enforcement including his late father George Cafarelli, a list of uncles, and his brother John who is currently on the force. As Chief, he brought back the Honor Guard to improve morale, and reinstituted the SWAT Team which as everyone should realize, in today’s world, makes perfect sense.
Chief Cafarelli as a member of the Metro North SWAT Team was the one who physically pulled one of the Marathon bombers, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev out of the boat during his Watertown capture. He was not just a Chief- he was still a police officer willing to do the same job as anyone else in the department down to the newest patrolman.
Under his leadership, drug arrests are up close to 40%, cost over overtime were $400,000 less cumulatively over that same period of time, overall crime is down double digits, a new sub station has been located in our downtown area, and citizen complaints are at an all time low. The new Mayor says he’s not doing enough with the immigrant community. This is a police officer that spent most of his career on Shirley Avenue, one of the most minority based populations in our community! Is this really a man who should be fired?
I hope Mayor Arrigo decides not to play politics with a job as important as Chief of Police, because if he does, our city and our residents will suffer because of it.