BOSTON (CBS) — Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday he is throwing his support behind final recommendations from the Boston police reform task force. The mayor said he’ll officially accept all recommendations, including establishing a police accountability office and expanding the body camera program.
The task force is led by former U.S. Attorney Wayne Budd and is comprised of police officers, clergy, community leaders and attorneys. The 11-member group was assigned to review police policies and procedures after people in Boston and around the country protested police brutality.
“After George Floyd’s murder. . . the Black community in Boston spoke clearly,” Walsh said. “We have to change the system that we inherited.”
The recommendations include:
- Creating an independent Office of Police Accountability and Transparency to investigate misconduct
- Strengthening diversity in the police department
- Expanding the use of body-worn cameras by police
- Enhancing Use of Force policies
- Adopting transparent data and records practices
Click here to read more about the recommendations.
“These are bold steps. They will mark a new era in Boston and police practices and community relations,” said Walsh.
“I think it will be fair to the community and to the police,” Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said about the recommendations, adding “We’re not the police department from the past.”
NAACP Boston President Tanisha Sullivan described the policy proposals as “innovative and bold.”
“These recommendations are the outcome of years of advocacy and activism that has happened in this city around policing reform and accountability,” she said. “It’s not enough to say that racism will not be tolerated; we must actively, intentionally and consistently work to make sure it has no place or space to take root.”
The task force urges changes to be adopted within 180 days.
“I think most of us understand that change has to happen, it’s going to improve our department, it’s going to improve the way the public perceives us and it’s going improve or ability to interact with the community,” said President of the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers and Boston Police Sgt. Eddie Chrispin.