By Mayor Brian Arrigo
My administration is committed to delivering the highest standards of professionalism and accountability in all aspects of city government – especially public safety.
It is clear that we have to transform our Police Department into a modern outfit focused on 21st century community policing.
We need a Police Department with leadership that emphasizes officers patrolling on foot, who get to know residents and business owners, and who make it their core mission to build deep trust between Police and residents. In a complex, ever-changing urban environment, this approach to policing is vital in making our city a safe place to live, raise a family, and conduct business.
This guiding principle is one we’ve followed in searching for our Department’s next Chief of Police.
Over the last two months, the candidates for Chief have undergone a thorough assessment, with the assistance of well-respected, highly trained public safety officials.
Throughout this process, we have discovered significant managerial, communication and community-relations issues within the Police Department. Many of these revelations have been deeply concerning.
While I had hoped to have a permanent Police Chief in place by July 1, based on what we have learned, I have decided to implement a top-to-bottom organizational review of the Department, which will be conducted by a third-party. I expect that this review will last 6-9 months. During this time, I will also request that the City Council and the Legislature allow us to expand the pool of potential applicants for Chief, to include applicants from outside the Department.
While this is not an ideal situation, based on the recommendations of the assessor, this is a necessary step to ensure the next iteration of our Police Department is one that puts the highest priority on engaging with our community and ensuring the safety of officers and residents alike. It is also crucial to objectively address the organizational issues that currently plague the Department.
Per City Ordinances, as of July 1, at the expiration of the term of the current Chief, the Executive Officer of the department, Captain James Guido, will serve as interim chief. The interim chief will be in place to maintain continuity while the organizational review is completed.
This organizational review and expansion of the pool of candidates is necessary to help us build a 21st-century police department. This review will include recommendations on items including but not limited to staffing levels, organizational structure, internal cultural issues, community relations, and use of technology.
In his Assessment Center report, Arlington Police Chief Fred Ryan recommended that Revere expand the candidate pool by considering experienced police executives from outside the Department, to make sure the next Chief is someone “who can challenge the organizational culture of the Department, implement organizational transformation that enhances community trust, and integrates 21st century policing philosophies.”
While it is possible that the ideal candidate is currently within the Department, expanding the pool of candidates is necessary to ensure that whoever next leads the Department is the best person for the implementation of these objectives.
This decision and the appointment of a new Police Chief is critical and will have a long-term impact on our beloved City. As Mayor, I have a responsibility to residents and business owners to ensure our next Chief has deep managerial skills, is guided by the principles of 21st-century policing, and meets rigorous, high standards.
Our Police Officers work diligently each and every day to keep our residents safe. They deserve a leadership structure and an organizational culture that utilizes best practices and gives them the tools to succeed. I look forward to working with fellow community leaders to make sure our Police Department is an example for the rest of the Commonwealth.
Brian Arrigo is Mayor of Revere.