BPD Commissioner Gross to retire; Walsh names replacement

William Gross outside of John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse before a press conference with victims of the Boston Marathon Bombing following a verdict in the case on on April 8 2015 in Boston. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the retirement of Boston Police Commissioner William Gross Wednesday, amid speculation he will make a run for mayor.

Walsh said in a statement that Gross will retire effective Jan. 29, and will be replaced by Dennis White, a BPD superintendent who is currently the commissioner’s chief of staff.

Commissioner Gross tells Boston 25 News he’s not running for mayor.

“It is only after long and careful consideration that I have made the decision to retire from my role,” Gross said in the statement released by the mayor. “My heart will always remain alongside my brothers and sisters of the BPD, who over the course of my 37-year career have become my village. I will continue to be one of their biggest champions as I move forward with my next chapter.”

Gross became the first Black commander to lead the Boston Police Department in 2018.

“Throughout his decorated career, he’s always embodied the spirit of community policing that is so important to building trust with the people we serve,” Walsh said in the statement.

“As Boston’s first Black Police Commissioner, Willie reflects the great diversity of our city,” Walsh added. “We can all be proud of the legacy he’ll leave behind, from reducing major crime to helping undertake the most ambitious set of police reforms in the department’s history.”

Walsh said White will become the second African American to serve as commissioner and will serve as acting commissioner beginning Jan. 29 until he is formally sworn in.

“Commissioner Gross has been a valued partner in our shared desire to make residents in the City of Boston safe from violence and harm. We have stood shoulder to shoulder at homicides and other violent crime scenes, working together to restore and build on the trust and faith in law enforcement that our communities need to have. I look forward to continuing that critically important work with Acting-Commissioner Dennis White.”

—  Suffolk DA Rachael Rollins

>> Boston mayoral race to be the most diverse the city has ever seen

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