William Gross Officially Sworn In As Boston's First Black Police Commissioner

 Photo credit: Erin Clark 

William Gross officially became Boston's first Black police commissioner when he was sworn in on Monday by Mayor Martin J. Walsh at Morning Star Baptist Church-where Gross' mother has been attending since he first became a Boston police cadet in the 1980's. 

Gross has been with the Boston police department for 33 years, working his way up from a patrol officer to the department's highest uniformed position as superintendent chief. He is now Boston's 42nd police commissioner, who plans to use his new role to focus on "community policing, diversity in the ranks, transparency and the well-being of his officers", reports the Boston Herald. 

Photo credit: Angela Rowlings 

Before his first address as commissioner, Gross surprised his mother with a bouquet of flowers and hung his new badge around her neck, saying in his speech: 

"I'd like to thank my mother, Deanna, for not only being there for me, but for everybody in our neighborhood. She, being a child of God, she brought forth the love to entire communities. Thank you, Mom."

Photo credit: Angela Rowlings 

"Being the first allows me to showcase the people that we're the first in making sure that everybody had the ability and chance to become either a cadet, patrol officer, all the way up to commissioner," Gross told NBC 10 Boston. "This first means you don’t forget where you came from and you pave the road so that there will be more firsts." 

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