After announcing that he would retire before Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis accepted a job as senior consultant of Community Resources for Justice on Tuesday.
Davis, who is to begin work at CRJ in early November, said he was proud to take part in the organization’s work in improving public safety.
“CRJ is doing some of the best work in the country in this area,” Davis said in a Tuesday release. “I’ve been a fan of this organization for a long time, and I am looking forward to partnering with Scott Harshbarger, our CEO John Larivee, and the whole team to advance this important work.”
Davis will work with CRJ’s Crime and Justice Institute in nonpartisan policy analysis, consulting and research work, and transitioning incarcerated women and men back into their communities through a network of halfway houses, according to the release.
Paul Swindlehurst, spokesman for CRJ, said Davis is one of the best people in the country in law enforcement and that the opportunity to work with him will make a real difference for the CRJ team.
“Davis is one of the most accomplished people working in urban law enforcement,” he said. “He has worked many years building safe communities, making sure offenders are held accountable and increasing public safety. We’re excited because of the work that we do … Commissioner Davis is going to be joining us and helping us … to try to take our programs to the next level.”
As senior consultant, Swindlehurst said Davis will be working with CRJ and many states across the country in consulting, research and technical assistance.
“We’re working with governors, legislators, county executives and other foundations to help them understand how to reform their correction practice, their strategies for building new prisons, for keeping low-risk offenders out of prison and then putting them in less expensive community correction programs so that … states will save money at the same time,” Swindlehurst said.
Peter Manning, professor of criminal justice and criminology at Northeastern University, said he was surprised by Davis’s choice and does not think it will be a permanent position for the commissioner.
“In general, police chiefs tend to go into private security or they set up their own corporations for consulting, so this is unusual and it shows that he is a man who is concerned about his community, and I applaud him for that,” he said. “I think that he may in time choose to move to another police position or to a position in the federal government, but I think this is a position … where his skills will be appreciated.”
Davis was rumored to be a potential candidate to be the next U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security after Janet Napolitano, who currently holds the position, stepped down in August.
Some residents said they were sad to see Davis go, especially after how he handled the Boston Marathon bombings.
Alyssa Fleischer, 35, resident of South Boston, said although he will no longer be police commissioner, his work will continue to better the lives of Boston residents.
“He did a great job in terms of making the city feel secure and he will be missed in the community,” she said. “He will be successful in whatever he does, so I am glad he is continuing to be a part of making things better, regardless of what capacity it is. He is continuing to be in the community and change it for the better.”
John Ogren, 28, resident of Kenmore Square, said Davis is a good fit for the senior consultant position.
“That type of system seems like a good idea and will help the community,” he said. “I certainly like the guy, and it’s probably going to bring some recognition to that organization and do great things for it. He has excellent leadership qualifications, he comes through as very authoritative and I trust his opinions and I wish him luck.”
Jack Donahue, 48, resident of Fenway, said Davis has proved himself as an important part of the community and will continue to do so in this position.
“Anybody who can get in there and really make a difference in some of these smaller communities and create a really golden standard, I’m supportive of that,” he said. “I think he handled the Marathon bombings well and I think it’s a positive thing that he is still in the community.”