Boston Police Department

Wu, BPD weigh in amid brewing Mass. police oversight board controversy

Boston Superintendent Michael Cox' "preference is that his command staff is focused on Boston and focused on internal policies, rather than statewide policies," Mayor Michelle Wu said

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Boston Mayor Michelle Wu is standing by her police commissioner amid criticism from Massachusetts' police oversight board over the demotion of a top Boston police official who'd recently been appointed to serve on the board.

The executive director of the Massachusetts Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission spoke out Monday about Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Eddy Chrispin's demotion to sergeant detective last week, saying the move was made because he'd been appointed a POST Commissioner. Some local police unions have called for Chrispin to be reinstated as well.



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Asked about the demotion Tuesday, Wu said it is Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox' "full discretion" on whom to place on his command staff.

She said that the POST Commission and Boston police can be most effective when they're independent, and said of Cox, "his preference is that his command staff is focused on Boston and focused on internal policies, rather than statewide policies."

But Enrique Zuniga, the POST Commission's executive director, told NBC10 Boston that Chrispin should be able to keep both titles. The four-year-old agency maintains lists of disciplinary records, suspensions and decertifications for Bay State police officers, and had released a statement Monday decrying the Boston Police Department's demotion of Chrispin, calling it unwarranted and undermining of the commission's work toward police reform.

A City of Boston source on Monday told NBC10 Boston that police leadership gave Chrispin an ultimatum to resign from the POST Commission or take a demotion, and that Chrispin would not step down.

Massachusetts' police oversight board says its appointment of Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Eddy Chrispin led to his demotion from his command position.

In a new statement Tuesday, a Boston police spokeswoman didn't elaborate on why Chrispin was demoted.

"It is important that all members of this senior leadership team are aligned in carrying out the Department’s mission," she said. "From time to time - to strengthen the command staff’s work to fulfill the mission and to promote cohesion of the team - changes are made."

The statement also noted that Cox shares "his sincere thanks" to Chrispin, who was appointed by a predecessor, and that "Commissioner Cox has every confidence in Sgt. Detective Chrispin’s ability to serve as an appointed member of the POST Commission, as he continues to serve the Boston Police Department as a supervisor in our Civil Right Unit."

Zuniga said the POST Commission hasn't been given sufficient explanation for why Chrispin was demoted, and that he heard from an advisor of Cox's who allegedly said there was a perceived conflict of interest. He declined to say if the board would investigate the demotion.

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, who chose to place Chrispin on the regulatory board, stood by him Tuesday.

"Deputy Superintendent Chrispin has served Boston's communities for 25 years, where he has advocated for better community policing and greater opportunity for officers of color and women," Campbell said in a statement. "After a thorough vetting process, I was proud to appoint Chrispin to the POST Commission, an appointment that was entirely consistent with the state conflict of interest law."

City Councilor Ed Flynn said Monday night on social media that Chrispin, "an outstanding leader," should continue to serve on the Boston Police Department's command staff while maintaining his position on the POST Commission.

Some Massachusetts law enforcement groups, including the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers and the Latino Law Enforcement Group of Boston, have pushed for Chrispin's reinstatement.

"This decision, though within the administrative rights of the department, feels deeply disheartening," the latter said in a statement Tuesday morning.

NBC10 Boston has reached out to the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and Boston Police Superior Officer’s Federation, an officers union, for comment.

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