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Introducing our Spring 2014 Fellows

Edward F. Davis has been in law enforcement for 35 years. He served as the 40th Police Commissioner of the City of Boston from December 2006 until October 2013. Commissioner Davis was Boston’s lead police official during the tragic Marathon bombing and testified before Congress about the bombing and lessons learned. Prior to that, Davis was the Superintendent of the Lowell Police Department, a position he held for 12 years and one he rose to after starting out as a patrol officer in 1978.

In Boston, Commissioner Davis oversaw police services for over 600,000 residents along with those visiting and working in the City of Boston.  

Why did you apply to be a Fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics? 

I applied to the IOP Fellowship program because of my long affiliation with the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS). Over the past twenty years HKS has been a constant help to me. Since meeting Frank Hartmann in 1994 I have benefited personally and professionally. Frank is a lecturer here and very important to the field of criminal justice. His advice and the introductions he has made, lead me to establish successful crime reduction programs that established my reputation in policing. I attended several executive level programs over the years and have desired a more long term and formal relationship with this institution. The Fellowship provides me with that and a way to give back. 

What can students and participants expect to learn about during your Study Groups?

My study group will focus on the relationship between the mayor and the police commissioner. The mayor has statutory authority over the police department. The commissioner does as well. We will examine these issues and discuss various topics that impact that intersection of offices including crime policy, terrorism and quality of life decisions. 

What are you most looking forward to this semester? 

I am most looking forward to the opportunity to connect with students at Harvard University. During my frequent visits to classes where I have lectured, I find the students to be brilliant, engaging and hungry for knowledge. That continues today. I sincerely hope that my experience in policing will benefit the students' understanding of local and national executive branch operations. I also hope that the importance of local government to the safety and quality of life of our citizens will be better understood by these, our future leaders. I am very certain that I will learn much more than I impart from my fellow fellows and from students alike.


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