Ed Davis, who led the Boston Police Department during the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings and steered one of the biggest manhunts ever mounted on U.S. soil, has been selected by The Crime Report readers as our criminal justice “Person of the Year.”
Readers overwhelming selected Davis, 57, for his skillful handling of the one of the worst domestic terrorism incidents since 9/11—leaving three people killed and 183 injured. Over the next three days, as police searched for the culprits, with an anxious nation watching in real time, “Davis helped calm worried and angry Bostonians, and conducted an investigation…that required delicate collaboration with federal and state police agencies— establishing in the process a model of crisis management for law enforcement across the nation,” The Crime Report’s editors said.
In an exclusive interview, Davis said that social media played a “vitally important” role in the manhunt and investigation.
“We had established a presence on social media, long before this incident happened…it was becoming a method for us to have a conversation with people in our community,” he said. “So it was only natural for us to use that as a tool.”
Noting that Boston police checked out reports of more than 200 “suspicious packages” after the incident, he warned that major crisis management was now on the minds of all U.S. police chiefs: “We have to be prepared for the worst now.”
Davis, who stepped down from his post in September, was also praised by readers for his community policing strategies. “The most important thing police departments can do,” he told The Crime Report, “is to improve the relationship with the community.”
Attorney General Eric Holder was also cited by readers for the high-profile role he played this year in calling for reforms of drug sentencing provisions and as an outspoken critic of the “Stand Your ground” laws in place in 26 states.
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The Boston Marathon bombing was also named by TCR readers at the most important criminal justice story of the year. Other top criminal justice stories in The Crime Report’s “Top Ten” list included: the 195-page ruling by New York federal judge Shira A. Scheindlin aimed at curbing New York police use of “Stop, Question and Frisk” strategies; George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin; and the revelations of massive electronic snooping by the National Security Agency leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. For a full list of the top ten stories click here.
The Crime Report is the nation’s most comprehensive online source of criminal justice news and resources. Published every weekday by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College and Criminal Justice Journalists, it includes original reports and commentary on justice issues, as well as a digest of daily headlines. For more information, visit www.thecrimereport.org.
Contact: Cara Tabachnick, Managing Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-484-1175.
About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.