BOSTON (CBS) – Twenty-four hours after announcing an historic change for Boston and its police force, the commissioner and his replacement were back on the beat for a peace walk.

These peace walks happen often, but this one felt different. There were many congratulations to both leaders – at the conclusion of one chapter and the start of another.

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Chief William Gross and Commissioner William Evans (WBZ-TV)

Dorchester neighbors got to know city leaders and those who keep them safe. Looking back at his years of leadership, it’s these fundamentals that stand out for Commissioner William Evans.

“I think we’ve built taking community policing to a new level. I think the outpouring of support we get is really great given what’s gone on around the country, so I’m proud that we’ve strengthened community relations and built a lot more trust and respect in the neighborhood,” Commissioner Evans said.

William Gross takes a photo in Dorchester (WBZ-TV)

His successor, William Gross, the city’s first African-American commissioner, started his police career right here in 1985.

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“There’s a real big upside to having somebody that understands the neighborhood that not just has relationships through the police department but has relationships aside from the police department and Chief Gross has that,” Mayor Marty Walsh said.

Some neighbors say this was a long time coming. Gross’ goal is to keep the city safe, by strengthening Boston families.

“If the mayor, a poor kid from Dorchester, the commissioner, a poor kid from Dorchester, and myself, a poor kid from Dorchester. If the community helped raise us let’s just keep that going. We can do that so every kid in Boston has a chance,” Chief Gross said.

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Commissioner Evans will leave his job next month, to lead the Public Safety Department at Boston College.

Juli McDonald