Acting Mayor Kim Janey held a press conference on April 13 to discuss police accountability and transparency, as well as violence in the City of Boston, following the shooting and death of Delois Brown on her front porch in Dorchester last weekend.
“I visited the fatal crime scene on Saturday evening and again on Sunday morning,” Janey said. “It was my first time as mayor, but like the residents on that street, it is something I have experienced far too many times.”
She continued, “It is outrageous that a grandmother or anyone cannot sit outside on a beautiful spring day without the fear of being shot to death. Most Boston residents live in a safe, peaceful neighborhood, but too many others live in fear of violence.”
She said that “as mayor, I’m committed to ensuring safety, healing, and justice in every Boston neighborhood. I understand that the fabric of trust between the Boston Police Department (BPD) and Boston residents has worn thin in parts of our city, especially in communities of color.”
Janey said that “transparency and accountability” need to be at the forefront of the conversation, “especially” when talking about law enforcement.
“My administration is doubling down on our work to stand up the Office of Police Accountability and Transparency, otherwise known as OPAT,” she said.
On Wednesday, Janey submitted her Fiscal Yer 2022 budget, which she said allocates $1 million to create the office. At Tuesday’s press conference, she announced that “seasoned attorney and advocate” Stephanie Everett will be the Executive Director of OPAT.
Everett “will lead the organization with the authority to review all BPD internal affairs cases, subpoena the release of records and strengthening police accountability to the people of Boston,” Janey said. “My administration is bringing a new era of transparency and accountability to all corners of city government.”
She also brought up the allegations of child molestation and abuse against former Boston Police Union president and BPD officer Patrick Rose.
“I have directed the city’s law department to immediately review Patrick Rose’s internal affairs file, and redact any information that could compromise the identities of the sexual assault or domestic violence victims,” Janey said. “The victims of these appalling crimes must be protected, but transparency cannot wait any longer.”
She continued, “As we now know, an alleged child molester was allowed to remain on the police force and rise through the ranks of the patrolmen’s union for two decades.”
She said that “those who are complicit in abuses of power will be held to account,” and that “the release of these files is a first step.”
Additionally, the OPAT will investigate the “BPD internal affairs system that allowed a police officer to remain on the job while preying upon children,” she said. “We must change the way BPD internal affairs works to ensure that this never happens again.”
She also said that her FY22 budget “dramatically reduced police overtime expenses,” and funding for expanding the police cadet program by 50 percent to allow for more diversity in the police force. She said the program will add “20 new diverse officers to the Boston Police force.”
Janey also said that she has “charged” Chief of Housing Shiela Dillon with helping to “safely relocate families impacted by homicide.”
Additionally, “I’m dedicated to ensuring safety, healing, and justice for every resident in all of our neighborhoods,” she said.